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解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
       
解密文本:     《鲁滨逊漂流记》   [英] 丹尼尔·笛福  著         
 

Robinson Crusoe
by   Daniel Defoe


      第1-5章      |       第6-10章       |      第11-15 章      |      第16-20章

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Chapter1   Start in Life

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called - nay we call ourselves and write our name - Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.

I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother knew what became of me.

Being the third son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house-education and a country free school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propensity of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing - viz. that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the standard of felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.

He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind, but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on the one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distemper upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtue and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest, nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.

After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the young man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which nature, and the station of life I was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life which he had just been recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it; and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty in warning me against measures which he knew would be to my hurt; in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home as he directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes as to give me any encouragement to go away; and to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for an example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed; and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me, and I should have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel when there might be none to assist in my recovery.

I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to be so himself - I say, I observed the tears run down his face very plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed: and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full he could say no more to me.

I was sincerely affected with this discourse, and, indeed, who could be otherwise? and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my father's desire. But alas! a few days wore it all off; and, in short, to prevent any of my father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him. However, I did not act quite so hastily as the first heat of my resolution prompted; but I took my mother at a time when I thought her a little more pleasant than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world that I should never settle to anything with resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure if I did I should never serve out my time, but I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again, and did not like it, I would go no more; and I would promise, by a double diligence, to recover the time that I had lost.

This put my mother into a great passion; she told me she knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt; and that she wondered how I could think of any such thing after the discourse I had had with my father, and such kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me; and that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I might depend I should never have their consent to it; that for her part she would not have so much hand in my destruction; and I should never have it to say that my mother was willing when my father was not.

Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I heard afterwards that she reported all the discourse to him, and that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to her, with a sigh, “That boy might be happy if he would stay at home; but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that ever was born: I can give no consent to it.”

It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, and frequently expostulated with my father and mother about their being so positively determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one day at Hull, where I went casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement at that time; but, I say, being there, and one of my companions being about to sail to London in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with them with the common allurement of seafaring men, that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I consulted neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without asking God's blessing or my father's, without any consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill hour, God knows, on the 1st of September 1651, I went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued longer than mine. The ship was no sooner out of the Humber than the wind began to blow and the sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body and terrified in mind. I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty. All the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to God and my father.

All this while the storm increased, and the sea went very high, though nothing like what I have seen many times since; no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it was enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought it did, in the trough or hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; in this agony of mind, I made many vows and resolutions that if it would please God to spare my life in this one voyage, if ever I got once my foot upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father, and never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would take his advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations about the middle station of life, how easy, how comfortably he had lived all his days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea or troubles on shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home to my father.

These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm lasted, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was abated, and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inured to it; however, I was very grave for all that day, being also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.

I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so pleasant in so little a time after. And now, lest my good resolutions should continue, my companion, who had enticed me away, comes to me; “Well, Bob,” says he, clapping me upon the shoulder, “how do you do after it? I warrant you were frighted, wer'n't you, last night, when it blew but a capful of wind?” “A capful d'you call it?” said I; “'twas a terrible storm.” “A storm, you fool you,” replies he; “do you call that a storm? why, it was nothing at all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a squall of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob. Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that; d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now?” To make short this sad part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch was made and I was made half drunk with it: and in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, all my resolutions for the future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection; and the serious thoughts did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes; but I shook them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and applying myself to drinking and company, soon mastered the return of those fits - for so I called them; and I had in five or six days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire. But I was to have another trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely without excuse; for if I would not take this for a deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch among us would confess both the danger and the mercy of.

The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the wind having been contrary and the weather calm, we had made but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary - viz. at south-west - for seven or eight days, during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came into the same Roads, as the common harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.

We had not, however, rid here so long but we should have tided it up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh, and after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However, the Roads being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our ground- tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea; but the eighth day, in the morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands at work to strike our topmasts, and make everything snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship rode forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor, so that we rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the bitter end.

By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed; and now I began to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant in the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say, several times, “Lord be merciful to us! we shall be all lost! we shall be all undone!” and the like. During these first hurries I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my temper: I could ill resume the first penitence which I had so apparently trampled upon and hardened myself against: I thought the bitterness of death had been past, and that this would be nothing like the first; but when the master himself came by me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted. I got up out of my cabin and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw: the sea ran mountains high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes; when I could look about, I could see nothing but distress round us; two ships that rode near us, we found, had cut their masts by the board, being deep laden; and our men cried out that a ship which rode about a mile ahead of us was foundered. Two more ships, being driven from their anchors, were run out of the Roads to sea, at all adventures, and that with not a mast standing. The light ships fared the best, as not so much labouring in the sea; but two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running away with only their spritsail out before the wind.

Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain protesting to him that if he did not the ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut that away also, and make a clear deck.

Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this distance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition that I can by no words describe it. But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury that the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never seen a worse. We had a good ship, but she was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, so that the seamen every now and then cried out she would founder. It was my advantage in one respect, that I did not know what they meant by FOUNDER till I inquired. However, the storm was so violent that I saw, what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down to see cried out we had sprung a leak; another said there was four feet water in the hold. Then all hands were called to the pump. At that word, my heart, as I thought, died within me: and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me that I, that was able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as another; at which I stirred up and went to the pump, and worked very heartily. While this was doing the master, seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what they meant, thought the ship had broken, or some dreadful thing happened. In a word, I was so surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when everybody had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me; but another man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came to myself.

We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little, yet it was not possible she could swim till we might run into any port; so the master continued firing guns for help; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the utmost hazard the boat came near us; but it was impossible for us to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at last the men rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after much labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of reaching their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in towards shore as much as we could; and our master promised them, that if the boat was staved upon shore, he would make it good to their master: so partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as Winterton Ness.

We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship till we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me she was sinking; for from the moment that they rather put me into the boat than that I might be said to go in, my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright, partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.

While we were in this condition - the men yet labouring at the oar to bring the boat near the shore - we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, we were able to see the shore) a great many people running along the strand to assist us when we should come near; but we made but slow way towards the shore; nor were we able to reach the shore till, being past the lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the wind. Here we got in, and though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hull as we thought fit.

Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home, I had been happy, and my father, as in our blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any assurances that I was not drowned.

But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree, that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open. Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery, which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me forward against the calm reasonings and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and against two such visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.

My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered; and, looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, he asked me how I did, and telling his father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go further abroad, his father, turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone “Young man,” says he, “you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man.” “Why, sir,” said I, “will you go to sea no more?” “That is another case,” said he; “it is my calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage on trial, you see what a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray,” continues he, “what are you; and on what account did you go to sea?” Upon that I told him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out into a strange kind of passion: “What had I done,” says he, “that such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship? I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds.” This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go. However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorting me to go back to my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin, telling me I might see a visible hand of Heaven against me. “And, young man,” said he, “depend upon it, if you do not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you.”

We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I saw him no more; which way he went I knew not. As for me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London by land; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with myself what course of life I should take, and whether I should go home or to sea.

As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my thoughts, and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among the neighbours, and should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even everybody else; from whence I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases - viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.

In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I stayed away a while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off, and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.

 

Chapter2    Slavery and Escape

That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house - which hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father - I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly called it, a voyage to Guinea.

It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a sailor; when, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I should have learnt the duty and office of a fore-mast man, and in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it was always my fate to choose for the worse, so I did here; for having money in my pocket and good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit of a gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship, nor learned to do any.

It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London, which does not always happen to such loose and misguided young fellows as I then was; the devil generally not omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was not so with me. I first got acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the coast of Guinea; and who, having had very good success there, was resolved to go again. This captain taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the voyage with him I should be at no expense; I should be his messmate and his companion; and if I could carry anything with me, I should have all the advantage of it that the trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.

I embraced the offer; and entering into a strict friendship with this captain, who was an honest, plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very considerably; for I carried about 40 pounds in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. These 40 pounds I had mustered together by the assistance of some of my relations whom I corresponded with; and who, I believe, got my father, or at least my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first adventure.

This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in all my adventures, which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my friend the captain; under whom also I got a competent knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an observation, and, in short, to understand some things that were needful to be understood by a sailor; for, as he took delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return, almost 300 pounds; and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.

Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particularly, that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the excessive heat of the climate; our principal trading being upon the coast, from latitude of 15 degrees north even to the line itself.

I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made; for though I did not carry quite 100 pounds of my new-gained wealth, so that I had 200 pounds left, which I had lodged with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfortunes. The first was this: our ship making her course towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the African shore, was surprised in the grey of the morning by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our yards would spread, or our masts carry, to get clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight; our ship having twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three in the afternoon he came up with us, and bringing to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in also his small shot from near two hundred men which he had on board. However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves. But laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks, who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the sails and rigging. We plied them with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men killed, and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.

The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I apprehended; nor was I carried up the country to the emperor's court, as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being young and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of my circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable and have none to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to pass that I could not be worse; for now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption; but, alas! this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as will appear in the sequel of this story.

As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea again, believing that it would some time or other be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal man-of-war; and that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was soon taken away; for when he went to sea, he left me on shore to look after his little garden, and do the common drudgery of slaves about his house; and when he came home again from his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after the ship.

Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least probability in it; nothing presented to make the supposition of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that would embark with me - no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotchman there but myself; so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination, yet I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.

After about two years, an odd circumstance presented itself, which put the old thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head. My patron lying at home longer than usual without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of money, he used constantly, once or twice a week, sometimes oftener if the weather was fair, to take the ship's pinnace and go out into the road a- fishing; and as he always took me and young Maresco with him to row the boat, we made him very merry, and I proved very dexterous in catching fish; insomuch that sometimes he would send me with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the youth - the Maresco, as they called him - to catch a dish of fish for him.

It happened one time, that going a-fishing in a calm morning, a fog rose so thick that, though we were not half a league from the shore, we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew not whither or which way, we laboured all day, and all the next night; and when the morning came we found we had pulled off to sea instead of pulling in for the shore; and that we were at least two leagues from the shore. However, we got well in again, though with a great deal of labour and some danger; for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but we were all very hungry.

But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of himself for the future; and having lying by him the longboat of our English ship that he had taken, he resolved he would not go a- fishing any more without a compass and some provision; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English slave, to build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long- boat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to steer, and haul home the main-sheet; the room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. She sailed with what we call a shoulder-of-mutton sail; and the boom jibed over the top of the cabin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and a table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink; and his bread, rice, and coffee.

We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing; and as I was most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinction in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily, and had, therefore, sent on board the boat overnight a larger store of provisions than ordinary; and had ordered me to get ready three fusees with powder and shot, which were on board his ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.

I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient and pendants out, and everything to accommodate his guests; when by-and-by my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests had put off going from some business that fell out, and ordered me, with the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the boat and catch them some fish, for that his friends were to sup at his house, and commanded that as soon as I got some fish I should bring it home to his house; all which I prepared to do.

This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts, for now I found I was likely to have a little ship at my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though I knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should steer - anywhere to get out of that place was my desire.

My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread. He said that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit, and three jars of fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken out of some English prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been there before for our master. I conveyed also a great lump of beeswax into the boat, which weighed about half a hundred-weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great use to us afterwards, especially the wax, to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also: his name was Ismael, which they call Muley, or Moely; so I called to him - “Moely,” said I, “our patron's guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot? It may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship.” “Yes,” says he, “I'll bring some;” and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch, which held a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into the boat. At the same time I had found some powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what was in it into another; and thus furnished with everything needful, we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we hauled in our sail and set us down to fish. The wind blew from the N.N.E., which was contrary to my desire, for had it blown southerly I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place where I was, and leave the rest to fate.

After we had fished some time and caught nothing - for when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that he might not see them - I said to the Moor, “This will not do; our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off.” He, thinking no harm, agreed, and being in the head of the boat, set the sails; and, as I had the helm, I ran the boat out near a league farther, and then brought her to, as if I would fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor was, and making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken in, told me he would go all over the world with me. He swam so strong after the boat that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him, and told him I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none. “But,” said I, “you swim well enough to reach to the shore, and the sea is calm; make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but if you come near the boat I'll shoot you through the head, for I am resolved to have my liberty;” so he turned himself about, and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.

I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone, I turned to the boy, whom they called Xury, and said to him, “Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'll make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be true to me” - that is, swear by Mahomet and his father's beard - “I must throw you into the sea too.” The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently that I could not distrust him, and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.

While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone towards the Straits' mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must have been supposed to do): for who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward, to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes and destroy us; where we could not go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind.

But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my course a little towards the east, that I might keep in with the shore; and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet sea, I made such sail that I believe by the next day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not be less than one hundred and fifty miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king thereabouts, for we saw no people.

Yet such was the fright I had taken of the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days; and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and came to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, nor where, neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw, nor desired to see any people; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go on shore till day. “Well, Xury,” said I, “then I won't; but it may be that we may see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions.” “Then we give them the shoot gun,” says Xury, laughing, “make them run wey.” Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up. After all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it; we dropped our little anchor, and lay still all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of many sorts, come down to the sea-shore and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and yellings, that I never indeed heard the like.

Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too; but we were both more frighted when we heard one of these mighty creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous huge and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away; “No,” says I, “Xury; we can slip our cable, with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they cannot follow us far.” I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it was) within two oars' length, which something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the cabin door, and taking up my gun, fired at him; upon which he immediately turned about and swam towards the shore again.

But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises, and hideous cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or report of the gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures had never heard before: this convinced me that there was no going on shore for us in the night on that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages had been as bad as to have fallen into the hands of the lions and tigers; at least we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.

Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat; when and where to get to it was the point. Xury said, if I would let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there was any water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he would go? why I should not go, and he stay in the boat? The boy answered with so much affection as made me love him ever after. Says he, “If wild mans come, they eat me, you go wey.” “Well, Xury,” said I, “we will both go and if the wild mans come, we will kill them, they shall eat neither of us.” So I gave Xury a piece of rusk bread to eat, and a dram out of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before; and we hauled the boat in as near the shore as we thought was proper, and so waded on shore, carrying nothing but our arms and two jars for water.

I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy seeing a low place about a mile up the country, rambled to it, and by-and-by I saw him come running towards me. I thought he was pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I ran forward towards him to help him; but when I came nearer to him I saw something hanging over his shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour, and longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but the great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water and seen no wild mans.

But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water, for a little higher up the creek where we were we found the water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but a little way up; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare he had killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature in that part of the country.

As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verde Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and not exactly knowing, or at least remembering, what latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was, that if I stood along this coast till I came to that part where the English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.

By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must be that country which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste and uninhabited, except by wild beasts; the negroes having abandoned it and gone farther south for fear of the Moors, and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting by reason of its barrenness; and indeed, both forsaking it because of the prodigious number of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three thousand men at a time; and indeed for near a hundred miles together upon this coast we saw nothing but a waste, uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.

Once or twice in the daytime I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being the high top of the Mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries, and had a great mind to venture out, in hopes of reaching thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again by contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little vessel; so, I resolved to pursue my first design, and keep along the shore.

Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had left this place; and once in particular, being early in morning, we came to an anchor under a little point of land, which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were, calls softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off the shore; “For,” says he, “look, yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock, fast asleep.” I looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible, great lion that lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that hung as it were a little over him. “Xury,” says I, “you shall on shore and kill him.” Xury, looked frighted, and said, “Me kill! he eat me at one mouth!” - one mouthful he meant. However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still, and I took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded it with a good charge of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third (for we had three pieces) I loaded with five smaller bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him in the head, but he lay so with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the knee and broke the bone. He started up, growling at first, but finding his leg broken, fell down again; and then got upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the head; however, I took up the second piece immediately, and though he began to move off, fired again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop and make but little noise, but lie struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and would have me let him go on shore. “Well, go,” said I: so the boy jumped into the water and taking a little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him in the head again, which despatched him quite.

This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I was very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury said he would have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me to give him the hatchet. “For what, Xury?” said I. “Me cut off his head,” said he. However, Xury could not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought it with him, and it was a monstrous great one.

I bethought myself, however, that, perhaps the skin of him might, one way or other, be of some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work with him; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us both up the whole day, but at last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.

 

Chapter 3   Wrecked on a Desert Island

After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days, living very sparingly on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no oftener to the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My design in this was to make the river Gambia or Senegal, that is to say anywhere about the Cape de Verde, where I was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there among the negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to the coast of Guinea or to Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands; and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must meet with some ship or must perish.

When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite black and naked. I was once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but Xury was my better counsellor, and said to me, “No go, no go.” However, I hauled in nearer the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by me a good way. I observed they had no weapons in their hand, except one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they could throw them a great way with good aim; so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I could; and particularly made signs for something to eat: they beckoned to me to stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this I lowered the top of my sail and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than half-an- hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dried flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country; but we neither knew what the one or the other was; however, we were willing to accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I would not venture on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us; but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us again.

We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends; but an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully; for while we were lying by the shore came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it) with great fury from the mountains towards the sea; whether it was the male pursuing the female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it was the latter; because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the night; and, in the second place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the women. The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not offer to fall upon any of the negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if they had come for their diversion; at last one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon as he came fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head; immediately he sank down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down, as if he were struggling for life, and so indeed he was; he immediately made to the shore; but between the wound, which was his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached the shore.

It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor creatures at the noise and fire of my gun: some of them were even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the very terror; but when they saw the creature dead, and sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took heart and came, and began to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the water; and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave the negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found that it was a most curious leopard, spotted, and fine to an admirable degree; and the negroes held up their hands with admiration, to think what it was I had killed him with.

The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came; nor could I, at that distance, know what it was. I found quickly the negroes wished to eat the flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them take it as a favour from me; which, when I made signs to them that they might take him, they were very thankful for. Immediately they fell to work with him; and though they had no knife, yet, with a sharpened piece of wood, they took off his skin as readily, and much more readily, than we could have done with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh, which I declined, pointing out that I would give it them; but made signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, and brought me a great deal more of their provisions, which, though I did not understand, yet I accepted. I then made signs to them for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, as I supposed, in the sun, this they set down to me, as before, and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled them all three. The women were as naked as the men.

I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and leaving my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point. At length, doubling the point, at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verde, and those the islands called, from thence, Cape de Verde Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to do; for if I should be taken with a fresh of wind, I might neither reach one or other.

In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin and sat down, Xury having the helm; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, “Master, master, a ship with a sail!” and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, but I knew we were far enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only the ship, but that it was a Portuguese ship; and, as I thought, was bound to the coast of Guinea, for negroes. But, when I observed the course she steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some other way, and did not design to come any nearer to the shore; upon which I stretched out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with them if possible.

With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I could make any signal to them: but after I had crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw by the help of their glasses that it was some European boat, which they supposed must belong to some ship that was lost; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I was encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ancient on board, I made a waft of it to them, for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both which they saw; for they told me they saw the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these signals they very kindly brought to, and lay by for me; and in about three hours; time I came up with them.

They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French, but I understood none of them; but at last a Scotch sailor, who was on board, called to me: and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that I had made my escape out of slavery from the Moors, at Sallee; they then bade me come on board, and very kindly took me in, and all my goods.

It was an inexpressible joy to me, which any one will believe, that I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I was in; and I immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a return for my deliverance; but he generously told me he would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be delivered safe to me when I came to the Brazils. “For,” says he, “I have saved your life on no other terms than I would be glad to be saved myself: and it may, one time or other, be my lot to be taken up in the same condition. Besides,” said he, “when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your own country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then I only take away that life I have given. No, no,” says he: “Seignior Inglese” (Mr. Englishman), “I will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help to buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again.”

As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the performance to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen that none should touch anything that I had: then he took everything into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them, that I might have them, even to my three earthen jars.

As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me he would buy it of me for his ship's use; and asked me what I would have for it? I told him he had been so generous to me in everything that I could not offer to make any price of the boat, but left it entirely to him: upon which he told me he would give me a note of hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came there, if any one offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.

We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and I arrived in the Bay de Todos los Santos, or All Saints' Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I was once more delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with myself I was to consider.

The generous treatment the captain gave me I can never enough remember: he would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused everything I had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me; and what I was willing to sell he bought of me, such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of beeswax - for I had made candles of the rest: in a word, I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo; and with this stock I went on shore in the Brazils.

I had not been long here before I was recommended to the house of a good honest man like himself, who had an ingenio, as they call it (that is, a plantation and a sugar-house). I lived with him some time, and acquainted myself by that means with the manner of planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters lived, and how they got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a licence to settle there, I would turn planter among them: resolving in the meantime to find out some way to get my money, which I had left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting a kind of letter of naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement; such a one as might be suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.

I had a neighbour, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English parents, whose name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call him my neighbour, because his plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My stock was but low, as well as his; and we rather planted for food than anything else, for about two years. However, we began to increase, and our land began to come into order; so that the third year we planted some tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground ready for planting canes in the year to come. But we both wanted help; and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with my boy Xury.

But, alas! for me to do wrong that never did right, was no great wonder. I hail no remedy but to go on: I had got into an employment quite remote to my genius, and directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father's house, and broke through all his good advice. Nay, I was coming into the very middle station, or upper degree of low life, which my father advised me to before, and which, if I resolved to go on with, I might as well have stayed at home, and never have fatigued myself in the world as I had done; and I used often to say to myself, I could have done this as well in England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to do it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never to hear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.

In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with, but now and then this neighbour; no work to be done, but by the labour of my hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away upon some desolate island, that had nobody there but himself. But how just has it been - and how should all men reflect, that when they compare their present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity by their experience - I say, how just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on, in an island of mere desolation, should be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which, had I continued, I had in all probability been exceeding prosperous and rich.

I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying on the plantation before my kind friend, the captain of the ship that took me up at sea, went back - for the ship remained there, in providing his lading and preparing for his voyage, nearly three months - when telling him what little stock I had left behind me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere advice:- “Seignior Inglese,” says he (for so he always called me), “if you will give me letters, and a procuration in form to me, with orders to the person who has your money in London to send your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but, since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred pounds sterling, which, you say, is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that, if it come safe, you may order the rest the same way, and, if it miscarry, you may have the other half to have recourse to for your supply.”

This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he desired.

I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures - my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions for my supply; and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means, by some of the English merchants there, to send over, not the order only, but a full account of my story to a merchant in London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.

The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in English goods, such as the captain had written for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to the Brazils; among which, without my direction (for I was too young in my business to think of them), he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, ironwork, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.

When this cargo arrived I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised with the joy of it; and my stood steward, the captain, had laid out the five pounds, which my friend had sent him for a present for himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant, under bond for six years' service, and would not accept of any consideration, except a little tobacco, which I would have him accept, being of my own produce.

Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture, such as cloths, stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found means to sell them to a very great advantage; so that I might say I had more than four times the value of my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor neighbour - I mean in the advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I did, I bought me a negro slave, and an European servant also - I mean another besides that which the captain brought me from Lisbon.

But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our greatest adversity, so it was with me. I went on the next year with great success in my plantation: I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each of above a hundredweight, were well cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon: and now increasing in business and wealth, my head began to be full of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are, indeed, often the ruin of the best heads in business. Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me for which my father so earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and of which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly, to increase my fault, and double the reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make, all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects, and those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my duty.

As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health in the world.

To come, then, by the just degrees to the particulars of this part of my story. You may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned the language, but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as well as among the merchants at St. Salvador, which was our port; and that, in my discourses among them, I had frequently given them an account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea: the manner of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to purchase upon the coast for trifles - such as beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like - not only gold-dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes, for the service of the Brazils, in great numbers.

They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads, but especially to that part which related to the buying of negroes, which was a trade at that time, not only not far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by assientos, or permission of the kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public stock: so that few negroes were bought, and these excessively dear.

It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly, three of them came to me next morning, and told me they had been musing very much upon what I had discoursed with them of the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me; and, after enjoining me to secrecy, they told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened for nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried on, because they could not publicly sell the negroes when they came home, so they desired to make but one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide them among their own plantations; and, in a word, the question was whether I would go their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea; and they offered me that I should have my equal share of the negroes, without providing any part of the stock.

This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any one that had not had a settlement and a plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it; but for me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but to go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from England; and who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too - for me to think of such a voyage was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of.

But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer than I could restrain my first rambling designs when my father' good counsel was lost upon me. In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it to such as I should direct, if I miscarried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings or covenants to do so; and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects in case of my death, making the captain of the ship that had saved my life, as before, my universal heir, but obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will; one half of the produce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.

In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects and to keep up my plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my own interest, and have made a judgment of what I ought to have done and not to have done, I had certainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to myself.

But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather than my reason; and, accordingly, the ship being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done, as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st September 1659, being the same day eight years that I went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority, and the fool to my own interests.

Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six guns and fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We had on board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the negroes, such as beads, bits of glass, shells, and other trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives, scissors, hatchets, and the like.

The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch over for the African coast when we came about ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude, which, it seems, was the manner of course in those days. We had very good weather, only excessively hot, all the way upon our own coast, till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino; from whence, keeping further off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the isle Fernando de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N., and leaving those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve days' time, and were, by our last observation, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes northern latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out of our knowledge. It began from the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then settled in the north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding away before it, let it carry us whither fate and the fury of the winds directed; and, during these twelve days, I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up; nor, indeed, did any in the ship expect to save their lives.

In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men die of the calenture, and one man and the boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about eleven degrees north latitude, but that he was twenty-two degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was upon the coast of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river Amazon, toward that of the river Orinoco, commonly called the Great River; and began to consult with me what course he should take, for the ship was leaky, and very much disabled, and he was going directly back to the coast of Brazil.

I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to have recourse to till we came within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped, in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of Africa without some assistance both to our ship and to ourselves.

With this design we changed our course, and steered away N.W. by W., in order to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for relief. But our voyage was otherwise determined; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen minutes, a second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the way of all human commerce, that, had all our lives been saved as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than ever returning to our own country.

In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men early in the morning cried out, “Land!” and we had no sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes of seeing whereabouts in the world we were, than the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner that we expected we should all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven into our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.

It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances. We knew nothing where we were, or upon what land it was we were driven - whether an island or the main, whether inhabited or not inhabited. As the rage of the wind was still great, though rather less than at first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many minutes without breaking into pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle, should turn immediately about. In a word, we sat looking upon one another, and expecting death every moment, and every man, accordingly, preparing for another world; for there was little or nothing more for us to do in this. That which was our present comfort, and all the comfort we had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship did not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.

Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the storm, but she was first staved by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing. However, there was no time to debate, for we fancied that the ship would break in pieces every minute, and some told us she was actually broken already.

In this distress the mate of our vessel laid hold of the boat, and with the help of the rest of the men got her slung over the ship's side; and getting all into her, let go, and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild sea; for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea ran dreadfully high upon the shore, and might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.

And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly that the sea went so high that the boat could not live, and that we should be inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor if we had could we have done anything with it; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all knew that when the boat came near the shore she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea. However, we committed our souls to God in the most earnest manner; and the wind driving us towards the shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as we could towards land.

What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal, we knew not. The only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of expectation was, if we might find some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great chance we might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made smooth water. But there was nothing like this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.

After we had rowed, or rather driven about a league and a half, as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup de grace. It took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once; and separating us as well from the boat as from one another, gave us no time to say, “O God!” for we were all swallowed up in a moment.

Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I sank into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind, as well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could before another wave should return and take me up again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy, which I had no means or strength to contend with: my business was to hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water if I could; and so, by swimming, to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore, if possible, my greatest concern now being that the sea, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back towards the sea.

The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty feet deep in its own body, and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore - a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath, and new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath, and till the waters went from me, and then took to my heels and ran with what strength I had further towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forward as before, the shore being very flat.

The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me, for the sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against a piece of rock, and that with such force, that it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now, as the waves were not so high as at first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took, I got to the mainland, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of the water.

I was now landed and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there was some minutes before scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstasies and transports of the soul are, when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave: and I do not wonder now at the custom, when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him - I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart and overwhelm him.

For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.”

I walked about on the shore lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I may say, wrapped up in a contemplation of my deliverance; making a thousand gestures and motions, which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned, and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.

I cast my eye to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off; and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on shore.

After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I began to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was next to be done; and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful deliverance; for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything either to eat or drink to comfort me; neither did I see any prospect before me but that of perishing with hunger or being devoured by wild beasts; and that which was particularly afflicting to me was, that I had no weapon, either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance, or to defend myself against any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. This was all my provisions; and this threw me into such terrible agonies of mind, that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began with a heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that country, as at night they always come abroad for their prey.

All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was to get up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and having drank, and put a little tobacco into my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to place myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut me a short stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging; and having been excessively fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and found myself more refreshed with it than, I think, I ever was on such an occasion.

 

Chapter 4   First Weeks on the Island

When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before. But that which surprised me most was, that the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay by the swelling of the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I at first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the wave dashing me against it. This being within about a mile from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished myself on board, that at least I might save some necessary things for my use.

When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and the sea had tossed her up, upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I could upon the shore to have got to her; but found a neck or inlet of water between me and the boat which was about half a mile broad; so I came back for the present, being more intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my present subsistence.

A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far out that I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship. And here I found a fresh renewing of my grief; for I saw evidently that if we had kept on board we had been all safe - that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not been so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all comfort and company as I now was. This forced tears to my eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get to the ship; so I pulled off my clothes - for the weather was hot to extremity - and took the water. But when I came to the ship my difficulty was still greater to know how to get on board; for, as she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was nothing within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the second time 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 hold of 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 her hold, but that she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or, rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low, almost to the water. By this means all her quarter was free, and all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my first work was to search, and to see what was spoiled and what was free. And, first, I found that all the ship's provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum 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 a boat to furnish myself with many things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.

It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this extremity roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship; I resolved to fall to work with these, and I flung as many of them overboard as I could manage for their weight, tying every one with a rope, that they might not drive away. When this was done I went down the ship's side, and pulling them to me, I tied four of them together at both ends as well as I could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank upon them crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light. So I went to work, and with a carpenter's saw I cut a spare topmast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labour and pains. But the hope of furnishing myself with necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to have done upon another occasion.

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I got three of the seamen's chests, which I had broken open, and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft; the first of these I filled with provisions - viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little remainder of European corn, 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 or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several, cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some cordial waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of rack. These I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put them into the chest, nor any room for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide begin to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on the shore, upon the sand, swim away. As for my breeches, which were only linen, and open- kneed, I swam on board 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 I had others things which my eye was more upon - as, first, tools to work with on shore. And it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter's chest, which was, indeed, a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a shipload of gold would have been at that time. I got it down to my raft, whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good fowling-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. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water. Those two I got to my raft with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; and the least capful 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 towards the land. And thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat - and, besides the tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer; with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile or thereabouts my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a little distant from the place where I had landed before; by which I perceived that there was some indraft of the water, and consequently I hoped to find some creek or river there, 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 the land, and I found a strong current of the tide set into it; so I guided my raft 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, I think verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the end that was afloat, and to fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in that manner near half-an-hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still-rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current of tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper place to get to shore, for I was not willing to 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 with great 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 had like to have dipped all my cargo into the sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep - that is to say sloping - there was no place to land, but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and the other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again. All that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my oar like an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I found water enough - for my raft drew about a foot of water - I thrust her upon that flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken oars into the ground, one on one side near one end, and one on the 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 my habitation, and where to stow my goods to secure them from whatever might happen. 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 it northward. I took out one of the fowling-pieces, and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder; and thus armed, I travelled for discovery up to the top of that 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 island environed every way with the sea: no land to be seen except some rocks, which lay a great way off; and two small islands, less than this, which lay about three leagues to the west.

I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good reason to believe, uninhabited except by wild beasts, of whom, however, I saw none. Yet I saw abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither when I killed them could I tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot at a great bird which I saw sitting upon a tree on the side of a great wood. I believe it was the first gun that had been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no sooner fired, than from all parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number of fowls, of many sorts, making a confused screaming and crying, and every one according to his usual note, but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a kind of hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but it had no talons or claws more than common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.

Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of that day. What to do with myself at night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest, for I was afraid to lie 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 and boards that I had brought on shore, and made a kind of hut for that night's lodging. As for food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three creatures like hares run out of the wood where I shot the fowl.

I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of the ship which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things as might come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on board the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that the first storm that blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I resolved to set all other things apart till I had got everything out of the ship that I could get. Then I called a council - that is to say in my thoughts - whether I should take back the raft; but this appeared impracticable: so I resolved to go as before, when the tide was down; and I did so, only that I stripped before I went from my hut, having nothing on but my chequered shirt, a pair of linen drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.

I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenters stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw- jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured, together with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a large bagful of small shot, and a great roll of sheet-lead; but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side.

Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-topsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second 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 least my provisions might be devoured on shore: but when I came back I found no sign of any visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented my gun at her, 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 ate it, and looked (as if pleased) for more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched off.

Having got my second cargo on shore - though I was fain to open the barrels of powder, 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 I cut for that purpose: and into this tent I brought everything that I knew would spoil either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks 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 boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slept little, and had laboured very hard all day to fetch all those things from the ship, 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 in that posture, I thought I ought to get everything out of her that I could; so every 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 rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails, first and last; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as 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 had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more to expect 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, a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of the bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.

The next day I made another voyage, and now, having plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began with the cables. Cutting the great cable into pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, 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, I loaded it with all these heavy goods, and came away. But my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that, after I had entered the little cove where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for I was 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 for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I went every 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 the ship, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring; though I believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece. But preparing the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise: however, at low water I went on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually that nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks: in another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money - some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: “O drug!” said I, aloud, “what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me - no, not the taking off the ground; one of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of use for thee - e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving.” However, upon second thoughts I took it away; and wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It presently occurred to me that it was in vain to pretend to make a raft with the wind offshore; and that it was my business to be gone before the tide 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 difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.

But I had got home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth about me, very secure. It blew very hard all night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold, no more ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with the satisfactory reflection that I had lost no time, nor abated 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 of her afterwards did; but those things were of small use to me.

My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; and I had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make - 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, it may not be improper to give an account of.

I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement, because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near the sea, and I believed it would not be wholesome, and more particularly because there was no fresh water near it; so I 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 for me: 1st, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned; 2ndly, shelter from the heat of the sun; 3rdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; 4thly, a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish all my expectation yet.

In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of a rising 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 the rock there was a hollow place, worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of 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 pitch my tent. This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down into the low ground by the seaside. It was on the N.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, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter from its beginning and ending.

In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground above five feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six inches from one another.

Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows, 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, about two 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 great deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.

The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though, as it appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this 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 account above; and I made a large tent, which to preserve me from the rains that in one part of the year are very violent there, I made double - one smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it; and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin, 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, but in a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.

Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything that would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods, I made up the entrance, which till now I had left open, and so passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.

When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid them up within my fence, in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about a foot and a half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind my tent, which served me like a cellar to my house.

It cost me much labour and many days before all these things were brought to perfection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took up some of my thoughts. At the same time it happened, after I had laid my scheme for the setting up my tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick, dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that a great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the lightning as I was with the thought which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning itself - Oh, my powder! My very heart sank within 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 laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying, and applied myself to make bags and boxes, to separate the powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in the hope that, whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once; and to keep it so apart that it should not be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which in all was about two hundred and forty pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to the barrel that had been wet, 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 in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully where I laid it.

In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out once at least every day with my gun, as well to divert myself as to see if I could kill anything fit for food; and, as near as I could, to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first time I went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in the island, which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it was attended 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 to come at them; but I was not discouraged at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me in the valleys, though they were upon the rocks, they would run away, as in a terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I concluded that, by the position of their optics, their sight was so directed downward that they did not 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 frequently a fair mark.

The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; for when the old one fell, the kid stood stock still by her, till I came and took her up; and not only so, but when I carried the old one with me, upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to my enclosure; upon which I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame; but it would not eat; so I was forced to kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while, for I ate sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as much as possibly I could.

Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn: and what I did for that, and also how I enlarged my cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall give a full account 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 a few.

I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm, quite out of the course 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 to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life. The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence should thus completely ruin His creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable; so without help, abandoned, so entirely depressed, 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 to reprove me; and particularly one day, walking with my gun in my hand by the seaside, I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when reason, as it were, expostulated with me the other way, thus: “Well, you are in a desolate condition, it is true; but, pray remember, where are the rest of you? Did not you come, eleven of you in the boat? Where are the ten? Why were they not saved, and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it better to be here or there?” And then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with 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, and what would have been my case if it had not happened (which was a hundred thousand 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 things out of her; what would have been my case, if I had been forced to have lived in the condition in which I at first came on shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure them? “Particularly,” said I, aloud (though to myself), “what should I have done without a gun, without ammunition, without any tools to make anything, or to work with, without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner of covering?” and that now I had all these to sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a manner as to live without my gun, when my ammunition was spent: so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting, without any want, as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning how I would provide for the accidents that might happen, and for the time that was to come, even not only after my ammunition should be spent, but even after my health and strength should decay.

I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition being destroyed at one blast - I mean my powder being blown up by lightning; and this made the thoughts of it so surprising to me, when it lightened and thundered, as I observed just now.

And now being about to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was by my account the 30th of September, when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun, being to us in its autumnal equinox, was almost over my head; for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the latitude 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 that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath days; but to prevent this, I cut with my knife upon a large post, in capital letters - and making it into a great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed - “I came on shore here on the 30th September 1659.”

Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of the month 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 I brought out of the ship, in the several voyages which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of less value, but not at all less useful to me, which I omitted setting down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's and carpenter's keeping; 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, which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among my things; 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 not forget that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I may have occasion to say something in its place; for I carried both the cats with me; and as for the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on shore to me the day after I went on shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any 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, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.

And this put me in mind that I wanted many things notwithstanding all that I had amassed together; and of these, ink was one; as also a spade, pickaxe, and shovel, to dig or remove the earth; needles, pins, and thread; as for linen, I soon learned to want that without much difficulty.

This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily; and it was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or surrounded my habitation. 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, in bringing home; so that I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows; which, however, though I found it, made driving those posts or piles very laborious and tedious work. But what need I have been concerned at the tediousness of anything I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in? nor had I any other employment, if that had been over, at least that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food, which I did, more or less, every day.

I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstances I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to come after me - for I was likely to have but few heirs - as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring over them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:-

Evil: I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope of recovery.

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 be miserable.

Good: But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's crew, to be spared from death; and He that miraculously saved me from death can deliver me from this condition.

Evil: I am divided from mankind - a solitaire; one banished from human society.

Good: But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place, affording no sustenance.

Evil: I have no clothes to cover me.

Good: But I am in a hot climate, where, if I had clothes, I could hardly wear them.

Evil: I am without any defence, or means to resist any violence of man or beast.

Good: But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw 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 I have got out as many necessary things as will either supply my wants or enable me to supply myself, even as long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable but there was something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it; and let this stand as a direction from 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 over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship - I say, giving over these things, I begun to apply myself to arrange my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I could.

I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables: but I might now rather 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 a year and a half) I raised rafters from it, leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things as I could get, to keep out 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 into the cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked sideways, to the right hand, into the rock; and then, turning to the right again, worked quite out, and made me a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification. This gave me not only egress and regress, as it was a back way to my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to store my goods.

And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I 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 could not write or eat, or do several things, with so much pleasure without a table: so I went to work. And here I must needs observe, that as reason is the substance and origin 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 I wanted 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 more tools than an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before, and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I brought it to be thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one board out of a whole tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took me up to make a plank or board: but my time or labour was little worth, and so it was as well employed one way as another.

However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the first place; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought on my raft from the ship. But when I had wrought out some boards as above, I made large shelves, of the breadth of a foot and a half, one over another all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails and ironwork on; and, in a word, to separate everything at large into their places, that I might come easily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that would hang up; so that, had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary things; and had everything so ready at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, 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, but in too much discomposure of mind; and my journal would have been full of many dull things; for example, I must have said thus: “30th. - After I had got to shore, and escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which had got into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore wringing my hands and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out, 'I was undone, undone!' till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down 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 that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain and looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and then after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.

But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a table and a chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to keep my journal; of which I shall here give you the copy (though in it will be told all these particulars over again) as long as it lasted; for having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.

 

 

Chapter 5   Build a House - The Journal

SEPTEMBER 30, 1659. - I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which I called “The Island of Despair”; all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and myself almost dead.

All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal circumstances I was brought to - viz. I had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and in despair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me - either that I should be devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want of food. At the approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures; but slept soundly, though it rained all night.

October 1. - In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again much nearer the island; which, as it was some comfort, on one hand - for, seeing her set upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief - so, on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who, I imagined, if we had all stayed on board, might have saved the ship, or, at least, that they would not have been all drowned as they were; and that, had the men been saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship to have carried us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day also it continued raining, though with no wind at all.

From the 1st of October to the 24th. - All these days entirely spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I brought on shore every tide of flood upon rafts. Much rain also in the days, though with some intervals of fair weather; but it seems this was the rainy season.

Oct. 20. - I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it; but, being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out.

Oct. 25. - It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind; during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen, except the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent this day in covering and securing the goods which I had saved, that the rain might not spoil them.

Oct. 26. - I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or men. Towards night, I fixed upon a proper place, under a rock, and marked out a semicircle for my encampment; which I resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification, made of double piles, lined within with cables, and without with turf.

From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying all my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the time it rained exceedingly hard.

The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gun, to seek for some food, and discover the country; when I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.

November 1. - I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the first night; making it as large as I could, with stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.

Nov. 2. - I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my fortification.

Nov. 3. - I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me a table.

Nov. 4. - This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion - viz. every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three hours, if it did not rain; then employed myself to work till about eleven o'clock; then eat what I had to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessively hot; and then, in the evening, to work again. The working part of this day and of the next were wholly employed in making my table, for I was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a complete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do any one else.

Nov. 5. - This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing; every creature that I killed I took of the skins and preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of sea-fowls, which I did not understand; but was surprised, and almost frightened, with two or three seals, which, while I was gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got into the sea, and escaped me for that time.

Nov. 6. - After my morning walk I went to work with my table again, and finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it long before I learned to mend it.

Nov. 7. - Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the 11th was Sunday) I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me; and even in the making I pulled it in pieces several times.

Note. - I soon neglected my keeping Sundays; for, omitting my mark for them on my post, I forgot which was which.

Nov. 13. - This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and lightning, which frightened me dreadfully, for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate my stock of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be in danger.

Nov. 14, 15, 16. - These three days I spent in making little square chests, or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or two pounds at most, of powder; and so, putting the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as possible. On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I knew not what to call it.

Nov. 17. - This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock, to make room for my further conveniency.

Note. - Three things I wanted exceedingly for this work - viz. a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow or basket; so I desisted from my work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make me some tools. As for the pickaxe, I made use of the iron crows, which were proper enough, though heavy; but the next thing was a shovel or spade; this was so absolutely necessary, that, indeed, I could do nothing effectually without it; but what kind of one to make I knew not.

Nov. 18. - The next day, in searching the woods, I found a tree of that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call the iron- tree, for its exceeding hardness. Of this, with great labour, and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home, too, with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy. The excessive hardness of the wood, and my having no other way, made me a long while upon this machine, for I worked it effectually by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade; the handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only that the board part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me so long; however, it served well enough for the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that fashion, or so long in making.

I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbarrow. A basket I could not make by any means, having no such things as twigs that would bend to make wicker-ware - at least, none yet found out; and as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied I could make all but the wheel; but that I had no notion of; neither did I know how to go about it; besides, I had no possible way to make the iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in; so I gave it over, and so, for carrying away the earth which I dug out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod which the labourers carry mortar in when they serve the bricklayers. This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel: and yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain to make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days - I mean always excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also bringing home something fit to eat.

Nov. 23. - My other work having now stood still, because of my making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and working every day, as my strength and time allowed, I spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that it might hold my goods commodiously.

Note. - During all this time I worked to make this room or cave spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. As for my lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet season of the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry, which caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with long poles, in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees, like a thatch.

December 10. - I began now to think my cave or vault finished, when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of earth fell down from the top on one side; so much that, in short, it frighted me, and not without reason, too, for if I had been under it, I had never wanted a gravedigger. I had now a great deal of work to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out; and, which was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no more would come down.

Dec. 11. - This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of boards across over each post; this I finished the next day; and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more I had the roof secured, and the posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to part off the house.

Dec. 17. - From this day to the 20th I placed shelves, and knocked up nails on the posts, to hang everything up that could be hung up; and now I began to be in some order within doors.

Dec. 20. - Now I carried everything into the cave, and began to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to be very scarce with me; also, I made me another table.

Dec. 24. - Much rain all night and all day. No stirring out.

Dec. 25. - Rain all day.

Dec. 26. - No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, and pleasanter.

Dec. 27. - Killed a young goat, and lamed another, so that I caught it and led it home in a string; when I had it at home, I bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke.

N.B. - I took such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well and as strong as ever; but, by my nursing it so long, it grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my door, and would not go away. This was the first time that I entertained a thought of breeding up some tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot was all spent.

Dec. 28,29,30,31. - Great heats, and no breeze, so that there was no stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food; this time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.

January 1. - Very hot still: but I went abroad early and late with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the centre of the island, I found there were plenty of goats, though exceedingly shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.

Jan. 2. - Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog, and set him upon the goats, but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon the dog, and he knew his danger too well, for he would not come near them.

Jan. 3. - I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and strong.

N.B. - This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was said in the journal; it is sufficient to observe, that I was no less time than from the 2nd of January to the 14th of April working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it was no more than about twenty-four yards in length, being a half-circle from one place in the rock to another place, about eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre behind it.

All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many days, nay, sometimes weeks together; but I thought I should never be perfectly secure till this wall was finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour everything was done with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods and driving them into the ground; for I made them much bigger than I needed to have done.

When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced, with a turf wall raised up close to it, I perceived myself that if any people were to come on shore there, they would not perceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may be observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable occasion.

During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game every day when the rain permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage; particularly, I found a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as wood-pigeons in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew older they flew away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding them, for I had nothing to give them; however, I frequently found their nests, and got their young ones, which were very good meat. And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to make; as, indeed, with some of them it was: for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small runlet or two, as I observed before; but I could never arrive at the capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, or join the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water; so I gave that also over. In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles; so that as soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump of beeswax with which I made candles in my African adventure; but I had none of that now; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat I saved the tallow, and with a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear, steady light, like a candle. In the middle of all my labours it happened that, rummaging my things, I found a little bag which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the feeding of poultry - not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon. The little remainder of corn that had been in the bag was all devoured by the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks of corn out of it on one side of my fortification, under the rock.

It was a little before the great rains just now mentioned that I threw this stuff away, taking no notice, and not so much as remembering that I had thrown anything there, when, about a month after, or thereabouts, I saw some few stalks of something green shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen; but I was surprised, and perfectly astonished, when, after a little longer time, I saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfect green barley, of the same kind as our European - nay, as our English barley.

It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my thoughts on this occasion. I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen me otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God, without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in governing events for the world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely, and I began to suggest that God had miraculously caused His grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that wild, miserable place.

This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes, and I began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature should happen upon my account; and this was the more strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa when I was ashore there.

I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my support, but not doubting that there was more in the place, I went all over that part of the island, where I had been before, peering in every corner, and under every rock, to see for more of it, but I could not find any. At last it occurred to my thoughts that I shook a bag of chickens' meat out in that place; and then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate, too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a providence as if it had been miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence to me, that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains of corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven; as also, that I should throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at that time, it had been burnt up and destroyed.

I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in their season, which was about the end of June; and, laying up every corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread. But it was not till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall say afterwards, in its order; for I lost all that I sowed the first season by not observing the proper time; for I sowed it just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would have done; of which in its place.

Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care and for the same use, or to the same purpose - to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it without baking, though I did that also after some time.

But to return to my Journal.

I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get my wall done; and the 14th of April I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door but over the wall, by a ladder, that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.

April 16. - I finished the ladder; so I went up the ladder to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in the inside. This was a complete enclosure to me; for within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first mount my wall.

The very next day after this wall was finished I had almost had all my labour overthrown at once, and myself killed. The case was thus: As I was busy in the inside, behind my tent, just at the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frighted with a most dreadful, surprising thing indeed; for all on a sudden I found the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my head, and two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner. I was heartily scared; but thought nothing of what was really the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was fallen in, as some of it had done before: and for fear I should be buried in it I ran forward to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the hill, which I expected might roll down upon me. I had no sooner stepped down upon the ground, than I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock which stood about half a mile from me next the sea fell down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life. I perceived also the very sea was put into violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.

I was so much amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like, nor discoursed with any one that had, that I was like one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea; but the noise of the falling of the rock awakened me, as it were, and rousing me from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me with horror; and I thought of nothing then but the hill falling upon my tent and all my household goods, and burying all at once; and this sunk my very soul within me a second time.

After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time, I began to take courage; and yet I had not heart enough to go over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat still upon the ground greatly cast down and disconsolate, not knowing what to do. All this while I had not the least serious religious thought; nothing but the common “Lord have mercy upon me!” and when it was over that went away too.

While I sat thus, I found the air overcast and grow cloudy, as if it would rain. Soon after that the wind arose by little and little, so that in less than half-an-hour it blew a most dreadful hurricane; the sea was all on a sudden covered over with foam and froth; the shore was covered with the breach of the water, the trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible storm it was. This held about three hours, and then began to abate; and in two hours more it was quite calm, and began to rain very hard. All this while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and dejected; when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequences of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again. With this thought my spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent. But the rain was so violent that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head. This violent rain forced me to a new work - viz. to cut a hole through my new fortification, like a sink, to let the water go out, which would else have flooded my cave. After I had been in my cave for some time, and found still no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be more composed. And now, to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it very much, I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum; which, however, I did then and always very sparingly, knowing I could have no more when that was gone. It continued raining all that night and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best do; concluding that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building a little hut in an open place which I might surround with a wall, as I had done here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men; for I concluded, if I stayed where I was, I should certainly one time or other be buried alive.

With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the place where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill; and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent; and I spent the two next days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation. The fear of being swallowed up alive made me that I never slept in quiet; and yet the apprehension of lying abroad without any fence was almost equal to it; but still, when I looked about, and saw how everything was put in order, how pleasantly concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me very loath to remove. In the meantime, it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal of time for me to do this, and that I must be contented to venture where I was, till I had formed a camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it. So with this resolution I composed myself for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, &c., in a circle, as before, and set my tent up in it when it was finished; but that I would venture to stay where I was till it was finished, and fit to remove. This was the 21st.

April 22. - The next morning I begin to consider of means to put this resolve into execution; but I was at a great loss about my tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians); but with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches, and dull; and though I had a grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty. Note. - I had never seen any such thing in England, or at least, not to take notice how it was done, though since I have observed, it is very common there; besides that, my grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to bring it to perfection.

April 28, 29. - These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone performing very well.

April 30. - Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.

May 1. - In the morning, looking towards the sea side, the tide being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like a cask; when I came to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were driven on shore by the late hurricane; and looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to do. I examined the barrel which was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and the powder was caked as hard as a stone; however, I rolled it farther on shore for the present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could to the wreck of the ship, to look for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 第一章    人生的起点

一六三二年,我生在约克市一个上流社会的家庭。我们不是本地人。父亲是德国不来梅市人。他移居英国后,先住在赫尔市,经商发家后就收了生意,最后搬到约克市定居,并在那儿娶了我母亲。母亲娘家姓鲁滨孙,是当地的一家名门望族,因而给我取名叫鲁滨孙·克罗伊茨内。由于英国人一读"克罗伊茨内"这个德国姓,发音就走样,结果大家就叫我们"克罗索",以致连我们自己也这么叫,这么写了。所以,我的朋友们都叫我克罗索。

我有两个哥哥。大哥是驻佛兰德的英国步兵团中校。著名的洛克哈特上校曾带领过这支部队。大哥是在敦刻尔克附近与西班牙人作战时阵亡的。至于二哥的下落,我至今一无所知,就像我父母对我后来的境况也全然不知一样。

我是家里的小儿子,父母亲没让我学谋生的手艺,因此从小只是喜欢胡思乱想,一心想出洋远游。当时,我父亲年事已高,但他还是让我受了相当不错的教育。他曾送我去寄宿学校就读,还让我上免费学校接受乡村义务教育,一心一意想要我将来学法律。但我对一切都没有兴趣,只是想航海。

我完全不顾父愿,甚至违抗父命,也全然不听母亲的恳求和朋友们的劝阻。我的这种天性,似乎注定了我未来不幸的命运。

我父亲头脑聪明,为人慎重。他预见到我的意图必然会给我带来不幸,就时常严肃地开导我,并给了我不少有益的忠告。一天早晨,他把我叫进他的卧室;因为,那时他正好痛风病发作,行动不便。他十分恳切地对我规劝了一番。他问我,除了为满足我自己漫游四海的癖好外,究竟有什么理由要离弃父母,背井离乡呢?在家乡,我可以经人引荐,在社会上立身。如果我自己勤奋努力,将来完全可以发家致富,过上安逸快活的日子。他对我说,一般出洋冒险的人,不是穷得身无分文,就是妄想暴富;他们野心勃勃,想以非凡的事业扬名于世。但对我来说,这样做既不值得,也无必要。就我的社会地位而言,正好介于两者之间,即一般所说的中间地位。从他长期的经验判断,这是世界上最好的阶层,这种中间地位也最能使人幸福。他们既不必像下层大众从事艰苦的体力劳动而生活依旧无着;也不会像那些上层人物因骄奢淫逸、野心勃勃和相互倾轧而弄得心力交瘁。他说,我自己可以从下面的事实中认识到,中间地位的生活确实幸福无比;这就是,人人羡慕这种地位,许多帝王都感叹其高贵的出身给他们带来的不幸后果,恨不得自己出生于贫贱与高贵之间的中间阶层。明智的人也证明,中间阶层的人能获得真正的幸福。《圣经》中的智者也曾祈祷:"使我既不贫穷,也不富裕。"他提醒我,只要用心观察,就会发现上层社会和下层社会的人都多灾多难,唯中间阶层灾祸最少。中间阶层的生活,不会像上层社会和下层社会的人那样盛衰荣辱,瞬息万变。而且,中间地位不会像阔佬那样因挥霍无度、腐化堕落而弄得身心俱病;也不会像穷人那样因终日操劳、缺吃少穿而搞得憔悴不堪。唯有中间地位的人可享尽人间的幸福和安乐。中等人常年过着安定富足的生活。适可而止,中庸克己,健康安宁,交友娱乐,以及生活中的种种乐趣,都是中等人的福份。这种生活方式,使人平静安乐,怡然自得地过完一辈子,不受劳心劳力之苦。他们既不必为每日生计劳作,或为窘境所迫,以至伤身烦神;也不会因妒火攻心,或利欲薰心而狂躁不安。中间阶层的人可以平静地度过一生,尽情地体味人生的甜美,没有任何艰难困苦;他们感到幸福,并随着时日的过去,越来越深刻地体会到这种幸福。

接着,他态度诚挚、充满慈爱地劝我不要耍孩子气,不要急于自讨苦吃;因为,不论从人之常情来说,还是从我的家庭出身而言,都不会让我吃苦。他说,我不必为每日生计去操劳,他会为我作好一切安排,并将尽力让我过上前面所说的中间阶层的生活。如果我不能在世上过上安逸幸福的生活,那完全是我的命运或我自己的过错所致,而他已尽了自己的责任。因为他看到我将要采取的行动必然会给我自己带来苦难,因此向我提出了忠告。总而言之,他答应,如果我听他的话,安心留在家里,他一定尽力为我作出安排。他从不同意我离家远游。如果我将来遭遇到什么不幸,那就不要怪他。谈话结束时,他又说,我应以大哥为前车之鉴。他也曾经同样恳切地规劝过大哥不要去佛兰德打仗,但大哥没听从他的劝告。当时他年轻气盛,血气方刚,决意去部队服役,结果在战场上丧了命。他还对我说,他当然会永远为我祈祷,但我如果执意采取这种愚蠢的行动,那么,他敢说,上帝一定不会保佑我。当我将来呼援无门时,我会后悔自己没有听从他的忠告。

事后想起来,我父亲最后这几句话,成了我后来遭遇的预言;当然我相信我父亲自己当时未必意识到有这种先见之明。我注意到,当我父亲说这些话的时候,老泪纵横,尤其是他讲到我大哥陈尸战场,讲到我将来呼援无门而后悔时,更是悲不自胜,不得不中断了他的谈话。最后,他对我说,他忧心如焚,话也说不下去了。

我为这次谈话深受感动。真的,谁听了这样的话会无动于衷呢?我决心不再想出洋的事了,而是听从父亲的意愿,安心留在家里。可是,天哪!只过了几天,我就把自己的决心丢到九霄云外去了。简单地说,为了不让我父亲再纠缠我,在那次谈话后的好几个星期里,我一直远远躲开他。但是,我并不仓促行事,不像以前那样头脑发热时想干就干,而是等我母亲心情较好的时候去找了她。我对她说,我一心想到外面去见见世面,除此之外我什么事也不想干。父亲最好答应我,免得逼我私自出走。我说,我已经十八岁了,无论去当学徒,或是去做律师的助手都太晚了。而且,我绝对相信,即使自己去当学徒或做助手,也必定不等满师就会从师傅那儿逃出来去航海了。如果她能去父亲那儿为我说情,让他答应我乘船出洋一次,如果我回家后觉得自己并不喜欢航海,那我就会加倍努力弥补我所浪费的时间。

我母亲听了我的话就大发脾气。她对我说,她知道去对父亲说这种事毫无用处。父亲非常清楚这事对我的利害关系,决不会答应我去做任何伤害自己的事情。她还说,父亲和我的谈话那样语重心长、谆谆善诱,而我竟然还想离家远游,这实在使她难以理解。她说,总而言之,如果我执意自寻绝路,那谁也不会来帮助我。她要我相信,无论是母亲,还是父亲,都不会同意我出洋远航,所以我如果自取灭亡,与她也无关,免得我以后说,当时我父亲是不同意的,但我母亲却同意了。

尽管我母亲当面拒绝了我的请求,表示不愿意向父亲转达我的话,但事后我听说,她还是把我们的谈话原原本本地告诉了父亲。父亲听了深为忧虑。他对母亲叹息说,这孩子要是能留在家里,也许会很幸福的;但如果他要到海外去,就会成为世界上最不幸的人,因此,说什么他也不能同意我出去。

事过了一年光景,我终于离家出走了,而在这一年里,尽管家里人多次建议我去干点正事,但我就是顽固不化,一概不听,反而老是与父母亲纠缠,要他们不要那样反对自己孩子的心愿。有一天,我偶然来到赫尔市。当时,我还没有私自出走的念头。但在那里,我碰到了一个朋友。他说他将乘他父亲的船去伦敦,并怂恿我与他们一起去。他用水手们常用的诱人航海的办法对我说,我不必付船费。这时,我既不同父母商量,也不给他们捎个话,我想我走了以后他们迟早会听到消息的。同时,我既不向上帝祈祷,也没有要父亲为我祝福,甚至都不考虑当时的情况和将来的后果,就登上了一艘开往伦敦的船。时间是一六五一年九月一日。谁知道这是一个恶时辰啊!我相信,没有一个外出冒险的年轻人会像我这样一出门就倒霉,一倒霉就这么久久难以摆脱。我们的船一驶出恒比尔河就刮起了大风,风助浪势,煞是吓人。因为我第一次出海,人感到难过得要命,心里又怕得要死。这时,我开始对我的所作所为感到后悔了。我这个不孝之子,背弃父母,不尽天职,老天就这么快惩罚我了,真是天公地道。

这时,我父母的忠告,父亲的眼泪和母亲的祈求,都涌进了我的脑海。我良心终究尚未丧尽,不禁谴责起自己来:我不应该不听别人的忠告,背弃对上帝和父亲的天职。

这时风暴越刮越猛,海面汹涌澎湃,波浪滔天。我以前从未见过这种情景。但比起我后来多次见到过的咆哮的大海,那真是小巫见大巫了;就是与我过几天后见到的情景,也不能相比。可是,在当时,对我这个初次航海的年轻人来说,足已令我胆颤心惊了,因为我对航海的事一无所知。我感到,海恒比尔河,又作亨伯河,发源于英格兰中部,流入北海。

浪随时会将我们吞没。每次我们的船跌入浪涡时,我想我们会随时倾覆沉入海底再也浮不起来,了。在这种惶恐不安的心情下,我一次又一次地发誓,下了无数次决心,说如果上帝在这次航行中留我一命,只要让我双脚一踏上陆地,我就马上回到我父亲身边,今生今世再也不乘船出海了。我将听从父亲的劝告,再也不自寻烦恼了。同时,我也醒悟到,我父亲关于中间阶层生活的看法,确实句句在理。就拿我父亲来说吧,他一生平安舒适,既没有遇到过海上的狂风恶浪,也没有遭到过陆上的艰难困苦。我决心,我要像一个真正回头的浪子,回到家里,回到我父亲的身边。

这些明智而清醒的思想,在暴风雨肆虐期间,乃至停止后的短时间内,一直在我脑子里盘旋。到了第二天,暴风雨过去了,海面平静多了,我对海上生活开始有点习惯了。但我整天仍是愁眉苦脸的;再加上有些晕船,更是打不起精神来。到了傍晚,天气完全晴了,风也完全停了,继之而来的是一个美丽可爱的黄金昏。当晚和第二天清晨天气晴朗,落日和日出显得异常清丽。此时,阳光照在风平浪静的海面上,令人心旷神怡。那是我以前从未见过的美景。

那天晚上我睡得很香,所以第二天也不再晕船了,精神也为之一爽。望着前天还奔腾咆哮的大海,一下子竟这么平静柔和,真是令人感到不可思议。那位引诱我上船的朋友唯恐我真的下定决心不再航海,就过来看我。"喂,鲍勃,"他拍拍我的肩膀说,"你现在觉得怎样?我说,那天晚上吹起一点微风,一定把你吓坏了吧?""你说那是一点微风?"我说,"那是一场可怕的风暴啊!""风暴?你这傻瓜,"他回答说,"你把那也叫风暴?那算得了什么!只要船稳固,海面宽阔,像这样的一点风我们根本不放在眼里。当然,你初次出海,也难怪你,鲍勃。来吧,我们弄碗甜酒喝喝,把那些事统统忘掉吧!你看,天气多好啊!"我不想详细叙述这段伤心事。

简单一句话,我们因循一般水手的生活方式,调制了甜酒,我被灌得酩酊大醉。那天晚上,我尽情喝酒胡闹,把对自己过去行为的忏悔与反省,以及对未来下的决心,统统丢到九霄云外去了。简而言之,风暴一过,大海又平静如镜,我头脑里纷乱的思绪也随之一扫而光,怕被大海吞没的恐惧也消失殆尽,我热衷航海的愿望又重新涌上心头。我把自己在危难中下的决心和发的誓言一概丢之脑后。有时,我也发现,那些忏悔和决心也不时地会回到脑海里来。但我却竭力摆脱它们,并使自己振作起来,就好像自己要从某种坏情绪中振作起来似的。因此,我就和水手们一起照旧喝酒胡闹。不久,我就控制了自己的冲动,不让那些正经的念头死灰复燃。不到五六天,我就像那些想摆脱良心谴责的年轻人那样,完全战胜了良心。为此,我必定会遭受新的灾难。上帝见我不思悔改,就决定毫不宽恕地惩罚我,并且,这完全是我自作自受,无可推诿。既然我自己没有把平安渡过第一次灾难看作是上帝对我的拯救,下一次大祸临头就会变本加厉;那时,就连船上那些最凶残阴险、最胆大包天的水手,也都要害怕,都要求饶。

出海第六天,我们到达雅茅斯锚地①。在大风暴之后,我们的船没有走多少路,因为尽管天气晴朗,但却一直刮着逆风,因此,我们不得不在这海中停泊处抛锚。逆风吹了七八天,风是从西南方向吹来的。在此期间,许多从纽卡斯尔来的船只也都到这一开放锚地停泊,因为这儿是海上来往必经的港口,船只都在这儿等候顺风,驶入耶尔河。

我们本来不该在此停泊太久,而是应该趁着潮水驶入河口。无奈风刮得太紧,而停了四五天之后,风势更猛。但这块锚地素来被认为是个良港,加上我们的锚十分牢固,船上的锚索、辘轳、缆篷等一应设备均十分结实,因此水手们对大风都满不在乎,而且一点也不害怕,照旧按他们的生活方式休息作乐。到第八天早晨,风势骤然增大。于是全体船员都动员起来,一起动手落下了中帆,并把船上的一切物件都安顿好,使船能顶住狂风,安然停泊。到了中午,大海卷起了狂澜。我们的船头好几次钻入水中,打进了很多水。有一两次,我们以为脱了船锚,因此,船长下令放下备用大锚。这样,我们在船头下了两个锚,并把锚索放到最长的限度。

这时,风暴来势大得可怕,我看到,连水手们的脸上也显出惊恐的神色。船长虽然小心谨慎,力图保牢自己的船,但当他出入自己的舱房而从我的舱房边经过时,我好几次听到他低声自语,"上帝啊,可怜我们吧!我们都活不了啦!我们都要完蛋了!"他说了不少这一类的话。在最初的一阵纷乱中,我不知所措,只是一动不动地躺在自己的船舱里--我的舱房在船头,我无法形容我当时的心情。最初,我没有像第一次那样忏悔,而是变得麻木不仁了。我原以为死亡的痛苦已经过去,这次的风暴与上次一样也会过去。但我前面说过,当船长从我舱房边经过,并说我们都要完蛋了时,可把我吓坏了。我走出自己的舱房向外一看,只见满目凄凉;这种惨景我以前从未见过:海上巨浪滔天,每隔三四分钟就向我们扑来。再向四面一望,境况更是悲惨。我们发现,原来停泊在我们附近的两艘船,因为载货重,已经把船侧的桅杆都砍掉了。突然,我们船上的人惊呼起来。原来停在我们前面约一海里远的一艘船已沉没了。另外两艘船被狂风吹得脱了锚,只得冒险离开锚地驶向大海,连船上的桅杆也一根不剩了。小船的境况要算最好了,因为在海上小船容易行驶。但也有两三只小船被风刮得从我们船旁飞驰而过,船上只剩下角帆而向外海飘去。

到了傍晚,大副和水手长恳求船长砍掉前桅;此事船长当然是绝不愿意干的。但水手长抗议说,如果船长不同意砍掉前桅,船就会沉没。这样,船长也只好答应了。但船上的前桅一砍下来,主桅随风摇摆失去了控制,船也随着剧烈摇晃,于是他们又只得把主桅也砍掉。这样就只剩下一个空荡荡的甲板了。

谁都可以想象我当时的心情。因为我只是一个初次航海的小青年,不久前那次小风浪已把我吓得半死,更何况这次真的遇上了大风暴。此时此刻,当我执笔记述我那时的心情,我感到,那时我固然也害怕死,使我更害怕的是想到自己违背了自己不久前所作的忏悔,并且又像在前次危难中那样重新下定种种决心,这种恐惧感比我害怕死更甚。当时的心情既然如此,再加上对风暴的恐怖,那种心理状态即使现在我也无法用笔墨描述。但当时的情景还不算是最糟的呢!更糟的是风暴越刮越猛,就连水手们自己也都承认,他们平生从未遇到过这么厉害的大风暴。我们的船虽然坚固,但因载货太重,吃水很深,一直在水中剧烈地摇摆颠簸。只听见水手们不时地喊叫着船要沉了。当时我还不知道""是什么意思,这于我倒也是件好事。后来我问过别人后才明白究竟。这时风浪更加凶猛了,我看到了平时很少见到的情况:船长、水手长,以及其他一些比较有头脑的人都不断地祈祷,他们都感到船随时有沉没的危险。到了半夜,更是灾上加灾。那些到船舱底下去检查的人中间,忽然有一个人跑上来喊道:船底漏水了;接着又有一个水手跑上来说,底舱里已有四英尺深的水了。于是全船的人都被叫去抽水。我听到船底漏水时,感到我的心就好像突然停止了跳动;我当时正坐在自己的舱房的床边,一下子感到再也支持不住了,就倒在了船舱里。这时有人把我叫醒,说我以前什么事也不会干,现在至少可以去帮着抽水。听了这话我立即打起精神,来到抽水机旁,十分卖力地干起来。正当大家全力抽水时,船长发现有几艘小煤船因经不起风浪,不得不随风向海上飘去;当他们从我们附近经过时,船长就下令放一枪,作为求救的信号。我当时不知道为什么要放枪,听到枪声大吃一惊,以为船破了,或是发生了什么可怕的事情。一句话,我吓得晕倒在抽水机旁。

这种时候,人人都只顾自己的生命,那里还会有人来管我死活,也没有人会看一下我到底发生了什么事。另一个人立刻上来接替我抽水;他上来时把我一脚踢到一边,由我躺在那里。他一定以为我已经死了。过了好一会儿我才苏醒过来。

我们继续不断地抽水,但底舱里进水越来越多。我们的船显然不久就会沉没。这时,尽管风势略小了些,但船是肯定不可能驶进港湾了。船长只得不断鸣枪求救。有一艘轻量级的船顺风从我们前面飘过,就冒险放下一只小艇来救我们。

小艇上的人冒着极大的危险才划近我们的大船,但我们无法下到他们的小艇,他们也无法靠拢我们的大船。最后,小艇上的人拚命划浆,舍死相救;我们则从船尾抛下一根带有浮筒的绳子,并尽量把绳子放长。小艇上的人几经努力,终于抓住了绳子。我们就慢慢把小艇拖近船尾,全体船员才得以下了小艇。此时此刻,我们已无法再回到他们的船上去了,大家一致同意任凭小艇随波飘流,并努力向岸边划去。我们的船长许诺,万一小艇在岸边触礁,他将给他们船长照价赔偿。

这样,小艇半划着,半随浪逐流,逐渐向北方的岸边飘去,最后靠近了温特顿岬角。

离开大船不到一刻钟,我们就看到它沉下去了。这时,我才平生第一次懂得大海沉船是怎么回事。说实在话,当水手们告诉我大船正在下沉时,我几乎不敢抬头看一眼。当时,与其说是我自己爬下了小艇,还不如说是水手们把我丢进小艇的。从下小艇一刻起,我已心如死灰;一方面这是由于受风暴的惊吓,另一方面由于想到此行凶吉未卜,内心万分恐惧。

尽管我们处境危难,水手们还是奋力向岸边划去。当小艇被冲上浪尖时,我们已能看到海岸了,并见到岸上有许多人奔来奔去,想等我们小艇靠岸时救助我们。但小艇前进速度极慢,而且怎么也靠不了岸。最后,我们竟划过了温特顿灯塔。海岸由此向西凹进,并向克罗默延伸。这样,陆地挡住了一点风势,我们终于费了九牛二虎之力靠了岸。全体安全上岸后,即步行至雅茅斯。我们这些受难的人受到了当地官员、富商和船主们的热情款待;他们妥善安置我们住宿,还为我们筹足了旅费。我们可以按自己的意愿或去伦敦,或回赫尔。

当时,我要是还有点头脑,就应回到赫尔,并回到家里。

我一定会非常幸福。我父亲也会像耶稣讲道中所说的那个喻言中的父亲,杀肥牛迎接我这回头的浪子。因为,家里人听说我搭乘的那条船在雅茅斯锚地遇难沉没,之后又过了好久才得知我并没有葬身鱼腹。

但我恶运未尽,它以一种不可抗拒的力量迫使我不思悔改。有好几次,在我头脑冷静时,理智也曾向我大声疾呼,要我回家,但我却没有勇气听从理智的召唤。我不知道,也不想知道该怎么称呼这种驱使自己冥顽不化的力量,但这是一种神秘而无法逃避的定数;它往往会驱使我们自寻绝路,明知大祸临头,还是自投罗网。很显然,正是这种定数使我命中注定无法摆脱厄运。也正是这种定数的驱使,我才违背理智的召唤,甚至不愿从初次航海所遭遇的两次灾难中接受教训。

我的朋友,即船长的儿子,正是他使我铁下心来上了他父亲的船,现在胆子反而比我小了。当时,我们在雅茅斯市被分别安置在好几个地方住宿,所以两、三天之后他才碰到我。我刚才说了,这是我们上岸分开后第一次见面。我们一交谈,我就发现他的口气变了。他看上去精神沮丧,且不时地摇头。他问了我的近况,并把我介绍给他父亲。他对他父亲说,我这是第一次航海,只是试试罢了,以后想出洋远游。

听了这话,他父亲用十分严肃和关切的口吻对我说,"年轻人,你不应该再航海了。这次的灾难是一个凶兆,说明你不能当水手""怎么啦,先生,"我问,"难道你也不再航海了吗?"“那是两码事,"他说,"航海是我的职业,因此也是我的职责。

你这次出海,虽然只是一种尝试,老天爷已给你点滋味尝尝了;你若再一意孤行,必无好结果的。也许,我们这次大难临头,正是由于你上了我们的船的缘故,就像约拿上了开往他施的船一样。请问,"船长接着说,"你是什么人?你为什么要坐我们的船出海?"于是,我简略地向他谈了谈自己的身世。他听我讲完后,忽然怒气冲天,令人莫可名状。他说,"我作了什么孽,竟会让你这样的灾星上船。我以后绝不再和你坐同一条船,给我一千镑我也不干!"我觉得,这是因为沉船的损失使他心烦意乱,想在我身上泄愤。其实,他根本没有权利对我大发脾气。可是,后来他又郑重其事与我谈了一番,敦促我回到父亲身边,不要再惹怒老天爷来毁掉自己。他说,我应该看到,老天爷是不会放过我的。"年轻人,"他说,"相信我的话,你若不回家,不论你上哪儿,你只会受难和失望。到那时,你父亲的话就会在你身上应验了。"我对他的话不置可否,很快就跟他分手了。从此再也没有见到过他,对他的下落,也一无所知。至于我自己,口袋里有了点钱,就从陆路去伦敦。在赴伦敦途中,以及到了伦敦以后,我一直在作剧烈的思想斗争,不知道该选择什么样的生活道路:是回家呢,还是去航海?

一想到回家,羞耻之心使我归心顿消。我立即想到街坊邻居会怎样讥笑我;我自己也不仅羞见双亲,也羞见别人。这件事使我以后时常想起,一般人之心情多么荒诞可笑,而又那样莫名其妙;尤其是年轻人,照例在这种时刻,应听从理智的指导。然而,他们不以犯罪为耻,反而以悔罪为耻;他们不以干傻事为耻,反而以改过为耻。而实际上他们若能觉悟,别人才会把他们看作聪明人呢。

我就这样过了好几天,内心十分矛盾,不知何去何从,如何才好。但一想到回家,一种厌恶感油然升起,难以抑制。这样过了一些日子,对灾祸的记忆逐渐淡忘,原来动摇不定的归家念头也随之日趋淡薄,最后甚至丢到了九霄云外。这样,我又重新向往起航海生活来了。

 

第二章   奴役和逃跑

不久之前,那种邪恶的力量驱使我离家出走。我年幼无知,想入非非,妄想发财。这种念头,根深蒂固,竟使我对一切忠告充耳不闻,对父亲的恳求和严命置若罔闻。我是说,现在,又正是这同一种邪恶的力量--不管这是一种什么力量,使我开始了一种最不幸的冒险事业。我踏上了一艘驶往非洲海岸的船;用水手们的俗话说,到几内亚去!

在以往的冒险活动中,我在船上从未当过水手。这是我的不幸。本来,我可以比平时艰苦些,学会做一些普通水手们做的工作。到一定时候,即使做不了船长,说不定也能当上个大副或船长助手什么的。可是,命中注定我每次都会作出最坏的选择,这一次也不例外。口袋里装了几个钱,身上穿着体面的衣服,我就像往常一样,以绅士的身份上了船。船上的一切事务,我从不参与,也从不学着去做。

在伦敦,我交上了好朋友。这又是我命里注定的。这种好事通常不会落到像我这样一个放荡不羁、误入歧途的年轻人身上。魔鬼总是早早给他们设下了陷井。但对我却不然。一开始,我就认识了一位船长。他曾到过几内亚沿岸;在那儿,他做了一笔不错的买卖,所以决定再走一趟。他对我的谈话很感兴趣,因为那时我的谈吐也许不怎么令人讨厌。他听我说要出去见见世面,就对我说,假如我愿意和他一起去,可以免费搭他的船,并可做他的伙伴,和他一起用餐。如果我想顺便带点货,他将告诉我带什么东西最能赚钱,这样也许我能赚点钱。

对船长的盛情,我正是求之不得,并和船长成了莫逆之交。船长为人真诚其实,我便上了他的船,并捎带了点货物。

由于我这位船长朋友的正直无私,我赚了一笔不小的钱。因为,我听他的话,带了一批玩具和其他小玩意儿,大约值四十英镑。这些钱我是靠一些亲戚的帮助搞来的。我写信给他们;我相信,他们就告诉我父亲,或至少告诉了我母亲,由父亲或母亲出钱,再由亲戚寄给我,作为我第一次做生意的本钱。

可以说,这是我一生冒险活动中唯一成功的一次航行。这完全应归功于我那船长朋友的正直无私。在他的指导下,我还学会了一些航海的数学知识和方法,学会了记航海日志和观察天文。一句话,懂得了一些做水手的基本常识。他乐于教我,我也乐于跟他学。总之,这次航行使我既成了水手,又成了商人。这次航行,我带回了五磅零九盎司金沙;回到伦敦后,我换回了约三百英镑,赚了不少钱。这更使我踌躇满志,因而也由此断送了我的一生。

然而,这次航行也有我的不幸。尤其是因为我们做生意都是在非洲西海岸一带,从北纬15度一直南下至赤道附近,天气异常炎热,所以我得了航行于热带水域水手们常得的热病,三天两头发高烧,说胡话。

现在,我俨然成了做几内亚生意的商人了。不幸的是,我那位当船长的朋友在回伦敦后不久就去世了。尽管如此,我还是决定再去几内亚走一趟,就踏上了同一条船。这时,原来船上的大副做了船长。这是一次最倒霉的航行。虽然我上次赚了点钱,但我只带了不到一百英镑的货物,余下的二百英镑通通寄存在船长寡妇那里。她像船长一样,待我公正无私。但是,在这次航行中,我却屡遭不幸。第一件不幸的事情是:我们的船向加那利群岛驶去,或者,说得更确切些,正航行于这些群岛和非洲西海岸之间。一天拂晓,突然有一艘从萨累开来的土耳其海盗船,扯满了帆,从我们后面追了上来。我们的船也张满了帆试图逃跑。但海盗船比我们快,逐渐逼近了我们。看情形,再过几小时,他们肯定能追上我们。我们立即开始作战斗准备。我们船上有十二门炮,但海盗船上有十八门。大约到了下午三点钟光景,他们赶了上来。

他们本想攻击我们的船尾,结果却横冲到我们的后舷。我们把八门炮搬到了这一边,一起向他们开火。海盗船边后退,边还击;他们船上二百来人一起用枪向我们射击。我们的人隐蔽得好,无一受伤。海盗船准备对我们再次发动攻击,我们也全力备战。这一次他们从后舷的另一侧靠上我们的船,并有六十多人跳上了我们的甲板。强盗们一上船就乱砍乱杀,并砍断了我们的桅索等船具。我们用枪、短柄矛和炸药包等各种武器奋力抵抗,把他们击退了两次。我不想细说这件不幸的事。总之,到最后,我们的船失去了战斗力,而且死了三个人,伤了八人,只得投降。我们全部被俘,被押送到萨累,那是摩尔人的一个港口。

我在那儿受到的待遇,并没有像我当初担心的那么可怕。

其他人都被送到皇帝的宫里去,远离了海岸;我却被海盗船长作为他自己的战利品留下,成了他的奴隶。这是因为我年轻伶俐,对他有用处。我的境况发生了突变,从一个商人一下子变成了可怜的奴隶。这真使我悲痛欲绝。这时,我不禁回忆起我父亲的预言;他说过我一定会受苦受难,并会呼援无门。现在我才感到,父亲的话完全应验了。我现在的境况已再糟不过了。我受到了老天的惩罚,谁也救不了我。可是,唉,我的苦难才刚刚开始呢,下面我再接着细说吧。

我的主人把我带回他家中。我满以为他出海时会带上我。

如这样,我想,他迟早会被西班牙或葡萄牙的战舰俘获,那时我就可恢复自由了。但我的这个希望很快就破灭了。他每次出海时,总把我留在岸上照看他那座小花园,并在家里做各种奴隶干的苦活。当他从海上航行回来时,又叫我睡到船舱里替他看船。

在这里,我头脑里整天盘算着如何逃跑,但怎么也想不出稍有希望的办法。从当时的情况来看,我根本没有条件逃跑。我没有人可以商量,没有人与我一起逃跑。我孤身一人形单影只,周围没有其他奴隶,也没有英格兰人、爱尔兰人或苏格兰人。这样过了整整两年。在这两年中,逃跑的计划只有在我想象中实现,并借此自慰,却怎么也无法付诸实施。

大约两年之后,出现了一个特殊的情况,这使我重新升起了争取自由的希望。这一次,我主人在家里呆的时间比以往长。据说是因为手头缺钱,他没有为自己的船配备出航所必需的设备。在这段时间里,他经常坐一只舢舨去港口外的开放锚地捕鱼;每星期至少一、两次,天气好的话,去的次数更多一些。那只舢舨是他大船上的一只小艇。每次出港捕鱼,他总让我和一个摩尔小孩替他摇船。我们两个小年轻颇能得他的欢心,而我捕鱼也确实有一手,因此,有时他就只叫我与他的一个摩尔族亲戚和那个摩尔小孩一起去替他打点鱼来吃;那个摩尔小孩名叫马列司科。

一天早晨,我们又出海打鱼。天气晴朗,海面风平浪静。

突然,海上升起浓雾。我们划了才一海里多点,就看不见海岸了。当时,我们已辩不清东南西北了,只是拚命划船。这样划了一天一夜,到第二天早晨才发现,我们不仅没有划近海岸,反而向外海划去了,离岸至少约六海里。最后,我们费了很大的劲,冒了很大的危险,才平安抵岸,因为,那天早晨风很大,而且我们大家都快饿坏了。

这次意外事件给了我们主人一个警告,他决定以后得小心谨慎一些,出海捕鱼时带上指南针和一些食品。正好在他俘获的我们那艘英国船上,有一只长舢舨。他就下令他船上的木匠--也是他的一个英国人奴隶--在长舢舨中间做一个小舱,像驳船上的小舱那样;舱后留了些空间,可以容一个人站在那里掌舵和拉下帆索;舱前也有一块地方,可容一两个人站在那里升帆或降帆。这长舢舨上所使用的帆叫三角帆,帆杆横垂在舱顶上。船舱做得很矮,但非常舒适,可容得下他和一两个奴隶在里面睡觉,还可摆下一张桌子吃饭;桌子里做了一些抽屉,里面放上几其他爱喝的酒,以及他的面包、大米和咖啡之类的食物和饮料。

我们从此就经常坐这只长舢舨出海捕鱼。因为我捕鱼技术高明,所以每次出去他总是带着我。有一次,他约定要与当地两三位颇有身份的摩尔人坐我们的长舢舨出海游玩或捕鱼。为了款待客人,他预备了许多酒菜食品,并在头天晚上就送上了船。他还吩咐我从他大船上取下三支短枪放到舢舨上,把火药和子弹准备好。看来,他们除了想捕鱼外,还打算打鸟。

我按照主人的吩咐,把一切都准备妥当。第二天早晨,船也洗干净了,旗子也挂上了;一切安排完毕,我就在舢舨上专候贵客的光临。不料,过了一会儿,我主人一个人上船来。

他对我说,客人临时有事,这次不去了,下次再去,但他们将来家里吃晚饭,所以要我和那个摩尔人和小孩像往常一样去打点鱼来,以便晚上招待客人。他还特地吩咐,要我们一打到鱼就立即回来送到他家里。这些事我当然准备一一照办。

这时,我那争取自由的旧念头又突然萌发起来。因为,我觉得自己可以支配一条小船了。主人一走,我就着手准备起来,当然不是准备去捕鱼,而是准备远航。至于去哪儿,连我自己都不知道,也没有考虑过,只要离开这儿就行。

我计划的第一步,先借口对那个摩尔人说,我们不应当自说自话吃主人的面包,得自己动手准备船上吃的东西。他说我的话非常对,就拿来了一大筐当地甜饼干,又弄了三罐子淡水,一起搬到舢舨上。我知道主人装酒的箱子放的地方;看那箱子的样子,显然也是从英国人手里夺来的战利品。我趁那摩尔人上岸去的时候,就把那箱酒搬上舢舨,放到一个适当的地方,好像主人原来就放在那儿似的。同时我又搬了六十多磅蜜蜡到船上来,还顺便拿了一小包粗线,一把斧头,一把锯子和一只锤子;这些东西后来对我都非常有用,尤其是蜜蜡,可以用来做蜡烛。接着我又想出了一个新花样,他居然天真地上了圈套。这个摩尔人的名字叫伊斯玛,但大家叫他马利或莫利,所以我也这样叫他。"莫利,"我说,"我们主人的枪在船上,你去搞点火药和鸟枪弹来,也许我们还能给自己打几只水鸟呢!我知道主人的火药放在大船上。""对,"他说,"我去拿些来。"果然,他拿来了一大皮袋火药,足有一磅半重,可能还要多些。另外,他又拿来了一大皮袋鸟枪弹和一些子弹,也有五、六磅重。他把这些全部放到舢舨上。

同时,我又在大舱里找到了一些主人的火药。我从箱子里找出一只大酒瓶,里面所剩酒已不多。我把不多的酒倒入另一只瓶中,把空瓶装满火药。一切准备停当,我们便开始出港去捕鱼了。港口堡垒里的士兵都认识我们,所以也不来注意我们。我们出港不到一海里光景就下了帆开始捕鱼。这时,风向东北偏北,正与我的愿望相反。因为,假如刮南风,我就有把握把船驶到西班牙海岸,至少也可到西班牙西南部的加第斯海湾。但我决心已下,不管刮什么风,只要离开我现在呆的可怕的地方就行;其余一切,都听天由命了。

我们钓了一会儿鱼,一条也没有钓到;因为即使鱼儿上钩,我也不钓上来,免得让那摩尔人看见。然后,我对他说,这样下去可不行,我们拿什么款待主人呢?我们得走远一点。

他一想这样做也无妨,就同意了。他在船头,就张起了帆;我在船尾掌舵。就这样我们把船驶出了约三海里,然后就把船停下,好像又要准备捕鱼似的。我把舵交给摩尔小孩,自己向船头摩尔人站的地方走去。我弯下腰来,装作好像在他身后找什么东西似的。突然,我趁其不备,用手臂猛地在他裤裆下一撞,把他一下推入海里。这个摩尔人是个游泳高手,一下子就浮出海面。他向我呼救,求我让他上船,并说他愿追随我走遍天涯海角。他在水里像鱼,游得极快,而这时风不大,小船行驶速度很慢,眼看他很快就会赶上来。我走进船舱,拿起一支鸟枪。我把枪对准了摩尔人,并对他说我并没想伤害他,如果他不胡闹,也不会伤害他。我说:"你泅水泅得很好,你完全可以泅回岸去。现在海上风平浪静,就赶快泅回去吧。我是不会伤害你的。要是你靠近我的船,那我就打穿你的脑袋!我已决心逃跑争取自由了!"他立即转身向海岸方向游回去。我毫不怀疑,他必然能安抵海岸,因为他游泳的本领确实不赖。

本来,我可以把小孩淹死,带上那个摩尔人,可我怎么也不敢信任他。前面提到过,那个摩尔小孩名叫马列司科,但大家都叫他"佐立"。那摩尔人走后,我就对他说:"佐立,假如你忠于我,我会使你成为一个出色的人。但如果你不打自己的耳光向我发誓,如果你不凭着穆罕默德起誓效忠于我,我也把你扔到海里去。"那孩子冲着我笑了,并发誓忠于我,愿随我走遍天涯海角。他说这些话时神情天真无邪,使我没法不信任他。

那个摩尔人在大海里泅着水,我们的船还在他的视线之内。这时,我故意让船逆着风径直向大海驶去。这样,他们就会以为我是驶向直布罗陀海峡(事实上,任何有头脑的人都会这样做)。没有人会想到,我们会驶向南方野蛮人出没的海岸。到那儿,我们还来不及上岸,就会给各个黑人部族的独木舟所包围,并把我们杀害;即使我们上了岸,也不是给野兽吃掉,就是给更无情的野人吃掉。

可是,到傍晚时,我改变了航向。我们船向东南偏东驶去,这样船可沿着海岸航行。这时风势极好,海面也平静,我就张满帆让船疾驶。以当时船行速度来看,我估计第二天下午三点钟就能靠岸。那时我已经在萨累以南一百五十英里之外了,远离摩洛哥皇帝的领土,也不在任何国王的领地之内,因为那儿我们根本就看不到人迹。

但是,我已被摩尔人吓破了胆,生怕再落到他们的手里;同时风势又顺,于是也不靠岸,也不下锚,一口气竟走了五天。这时风势渐渐转为南风,我估计即使他们派船来追我.这时也该罢休了。于是我就大胆驶向海岸,在一条小河的河口下了锚。我不知道这儿是什么地方,在什么纬度,什么国家,什么民族,什么河流。四周看不到一个人,我也不希望看到任何人。我现在所需要的只是淡水。我们在傍晚驶进了小河口,决定一等天黑就游到岸上去,摸一下岸上的情况。但一到天黑,我们就听到各种野兽狂吠咆哮,怒吼呼啸,不知道那是些什么野兽,真是可怕极了!这可把那可怜的孩子吓得魂飞魄散,哀求我等天亮后再上岸。我说,"好吧,佐立,我不去就是了。不过,说不定白天会碰见人。他们对我们也许像狮子一样凶呢!"佐立笑着说,"那我们就开枪把他们打跑!"佐立在我们奴隶中能用英语交谈,虽然发音不太地道。见到佐立这样高兴,我心里也很快乐。于是我从主人的酒箱里拿出酒瓶,倒了一点酒给他喝,让他壮壮胆子。不管怎么说,佐立的提议是有道理的,我接受了他的意见。于是,我们就下了锚,静静地在船上躺了一整夜。我是说,只是"静静地躺着",我们事实上整夜都没合过眼。因为两三小时后,便有一大群各种各样的巨兽来到海边,在水里打滚,洗澡,或凉爽一下自己的身子;它们是些什么野兽,我也叫不出名字,而它们那狂呼怒吼的咆哮声,真是我平生从未听到过的,煞是吓人!

佐立吓坏了,我自己也吓得要死。然而,更让我们心惊胆战的是,我们听到有一头巨兽向我们船边游来。虽然我们看不见,但从其呼吸的声音来听,一定是个硕大无比的猛兽。

佐立说是头狮子,我想也可能是的。可怜的佐立向我高声呼叫,要我起锚把船划走。"不,"我说,"佐立,我们可以把锚索连同浮筒一起放出,把船向海里移移,那些野兽游不了太远的,它们不可能跟上来。"我话音未落,那巨兽离船不到两桨来远了。我立刻走进舱里,拿起枪来,对着那家伙放了一枪。那猛兽立即调头向岸上泅去。

枪声一响,不论在岸边或山里的群兽漫山遍野地狂呼怒吼起来,那种情景,真令人毛骨悚然。我想,这里的野兽以前大概从未听到过枪声,以至使它们如此惊恐不安。这更使我不得不相信,不用说晚上不能上岸,就是白天上岸也是个问题。落入野人手里,无异于落入狮子猛虎之口。至少,这两种危险我们都害怕。

但不管怎样,我们总得上岸到什么地方弄点淡水,因为船上剩下的水已不到一品脱了。问题是:什么时候上岸?在哪儿才能弄到水?佐立说,如果我让他拿个罐子上岸,他会去找找看有没有水,有的话就给我带回来。我问他,为什么要他去,而不是我去,让他自己呆在船上呢?这孩子的回答憨厚深情,使我从此喜欢上了他。他说:"如果野人来了,他们吃掉我,你可以逃走。""好吧,佐立,"我说,"如果野人来了,我们两个人一起开枪把他们打死,我们俩谁也不让他们吃掉。"我拿了一块干面包给佐立吃,还从原来主人的酒箱里拿出酒瓶给他倒了点酒喝。关于这个酒箱的来历,我前面已经提到过了。我们把船向岸边适当推近一些,两人就一起涉水上岸。除了枪枝弹药和两只水罐,我们其他什么都不带。

我不敢走得离船太远,唯恐野人的独木舟从河的上游顺流而下。可那孩子见到一英里开外处有一块低地,就信步走去。不一会儿,只见他飞快向我奔来。我以为有野人在追赶他,或者给什么野兽吓坏了,急忙迎上去帮助他。但他跑近我时,却见他肩上背着个野兔似动物,但颜色与野兔不一样,腿也比野兔长,原来是他打到的猎物。这东西的肉一定很好吃,为此我们都大为高兴。然而,更令人高兴的是,佐立告诉我,他已找到了淡水,而且也没有见到有野人。

但后来我们发现,我们不必费那么大的力气去取水。沿着我们所在的小河稍稍往上走一点,潮水一退,就可取到淡水。其实,海潮没进入小河多远。我们把所有的罐子都盛满了水,又把杀死的野兔煮了饱餐一顿,就准备上路了。在那一带,我们始终没有发现人类的足迹。

过去我曾到这一带的海岸来过一次,知道加那利群岛和佛得角群岛离大陆海岸不远。但船上没有仪器,无法测量我们所在地点的纬度,而且,我也已不记得这些群岛确切的纬度了,因此也无法找到这些群岛,也不知道什么时候该离开海岸,驶向海岛。要不然,我一定能很容易找到这些海岛的。我现在唯一的希望是:沿着海岸航行,直到英国人做生意的地方。在那儿总会遇到来往的商船,他们就会救我们。

我估计,我现在所在的地区正好在摩洛哥王国和黑人部族居住的地区之间;这儿只有野兽出没,荒无人烟。黑人因怕摩尔人的骚扰而放弃该地区迁向前方;摩尔人则因这儿是蛮荒之地,不愿在此居祝另外,这儿群兽出没,是猛虎、狮子、豹子和其他野兽栖息的地方。所以,不论是摩尔人还是黑人,都放弃了这块地方。但摩尔人有时也来这儿打猎。每次来的时候,至少有两三千人,像开来一支军队。事实上,我们沿海岸走了约一百英里,白天只见一起荒芜,杳无人迹;晚上只听到野兽咆哮,此起彼伏。

有一两次,在白天,我仿佛远远看到了加那利群岛高山的山顶--泰尼利夫山山顶。当时我很想冒一下险,把船驶过去。可是试了两次,都被逆风顶了回来。而且,这时海上风浪很大,我们的船又小,无法驶向大海。因此,我决定依照原来的计划,继续沿海岸行驶。

我们离开那个地方后,也有好几次不得不上岸取水。特别有一次,在大清早,我们来到一个小岬角抛了锚。这时正好涨潮,我们想等潮水上来后再往里驶。佐立的眼睛比我尖,他向我低声叫唤,要我把船驶离岸远一点。他说,"看那儿,一个可怕的怪物正在小山下睡觉呢!"我朝他手所指的方向看了一下,果然看到一个可怕的怪物,原来那是一头巨狮,正躺在一片山影下熟睡呢!我说:"佐立,你上岸去把它打死吧。"佐立大吃一惊,说:"我?我去把它打死?它一口就把我吃掉了。"我就不再对这孩子说什么了,并叫他乖乖呆在那儿。我自己拿起最大的一支枪,装了大量的火药,又装了两颗大子弹,放在一旁,然后又拿起第二支枪,装了两颗子弹,再把第三支枪装了五颗小子弹。我拿起第一支大枪,尽力瞄准,对着那狮子的头开了一枪。但那狮子躺着时,前腿稍稍往上抬起,挡住了鼻子,因此子弹正好打在它膝盖上,把腿骨打断了。狮子一惊,狂吼而起,但发觉一腿已断,复又跌倒在地,然后用三条腿站立起来,发出刺耳的吼叫声。我见自己没有打中狮子的头部,心里不由暗暗吃惊,这时,那头狮子似乎想走开,我急忙拿起第二支枪,对准它的头部又开了一枪,只见它颓然倒下,轻轻地吼了一声,便在那儿拼命挣扎。这时佐立胆子大了,要求我让他上岸。"好吧,你去吧!"我说。于是他便跳到水里,一手举着支短枪,一手划着水,走到那家伙跟前,把枪口放在它的耳朵边,向它的头部又开了一枪,终于结果了这猛兽的性命。

这件事对于我们实在是玩乐而已,狮子的肉根本不能吃。

为了这样一个无用的猎物,浪费了三份火药和弹丸,实在不值得,我颇感后悔。可是佐立说,他一定得从狮子身上弄点东西下来。于是他上船向我要斧子。"干什么,佐立?"我问。

"我要把它的头砍下来!"他说。结果,佐立没法把狮子头砍下来,却砍下了一只脚带回来。那脚可真大得可怕!

我心里盘算,狮子皮也许对我们会有用处,便决定想法把皮剥下来。于是我和佐立就跑去剥皮。对于这件工作,佐立比我高明得多了,而我完全不知道从何下手。我们两人忙了一整天,才把整张皮剥下来。我们把皮摊在船舱的顶上,两天后皮就晒干了。以后我就把它用作被来睡觉。

 

 

第三章  荒岛遇难

这次停船之后,我们向南一连行驶了十一二天,我们的粮食逐渐减少,只得省着点吃。除了取淡水不得不上岸外,很少靠岸。我这样做的目的是要把船驶到非洲海岸的冈比亚河或塞内加尔河;也就是说,到达佛得海角一带,希望能在那儿遇上欧洲的商船。万一遇不到的话,我就不知道该往哪儿去了。那就只好去找找那些群岛,或者死在黑人手里了。

我知道,从欧洲开往几内亚海岸,或去巴西和东印度群岛的商船,都要经过这个海角或这些群岛。总之,我把自己整个命运都押在这唯一的机遇上了;遇上商船就得救,遇不上就只有死路一条。

下定了决心,就又向前航行了十天左右,开始看到了有人烟的地方。有两三个地方,在我们的船驶过时,可以看到有些人站在岸上望着我们;同时可以看到,他们都(禁止),浑身墨黑。有一次,我很想上岸和他们接触一下,但佐立功我说,"不要去,不要去。"但是我还是驶近海岸,以便与他们谈谈。我发现他们沿着海岸跟着我的船跑了一大段路。我看到,他们手中都没有武器,只有一个人拿了一根细长的棍子。佐立告诉我,那是一种镖枪,他们可以投得又远又准。我不敢靠岸太近,并尽可能用手势与他们交谈。我尤其着力打出一些要求食物的手势。他们也招手要我把船停下,他们会回去取些肉来给我们。于是我落下了三角帆把船停下来。有两个人往回向村里跑去。不到半小时,他们回来了,手里拿着两块肉干和一些谷类。这些大概都是他们的土产品,但我和佐立都叫不出是什么东西。我们当然很想要这些食物,但怎样去拿这些东西却是个问题。我们自己不敢上岸接近他们,他们也同样怕我们。最后,他们想出了一个对双方来说都安全的办法。他们把东西先放在岸上,然后走到远处等待,让我们把东西拿上船后再走近岸边。

我们打着手势向他们表示感谢,因为我们拿不出什么东西答谢他们。说来也巧,正当此时,出现了一个大好机会,使我们大大地还了他们的人情。当时,突然有两只巨兽从山上向海岸边冲来;看那样子,好像后一只正在追逐前一只,究竟他们是雌雄相逐,还是戏耍或争斗,我们也弄不清楚。同时,我们也不知道这种事是司空见惯的呢,还是偶然发生的。

但是,照当时的情况判断,后者的可能性更大。因为,首先,这类凶残的猛兽一般大白天不出来活动,其次,我们看到那些黑人惊恐万分,特别是妇女更是害怕。大家都逃光了,只留下那个拿镖枪的人。可是那两只巨兽跑到海边并没有去袭击那些黑人,而是一下子跳到海里,游来游去,好像是在游戏。后来,出于我的意料之外,有一只竟跑到我们的船跟前来了。好在,我已早有准备。我迅速把枪装上了弹药,还叫佐立把另外两支枪也装好了弹药。当那巨兽一进入射程,我立即开火,一枪打中了它的头部。那家伙立即沉下去了,但又马上浮起来在水里上下翻腾,拚命作垂死挣扎;然后,匆匆向岸边游去,但由于受到的是致命伤,又被海水所窒息,还未游到岸边就死了。

那些可怜的黑人听到了枪声,看到了枪里发出的火光,其惊恐之状,真是笔墨难以形容的。有几个吓得半死,跌倒在地上。过后,他们见那怪兽已死,并沉到水里去了,又见我向他们招手,叫他们到海边来;这时,他们才壮着胆子,到海边来寻找那死兽。我根据水里的血迹找到了那巨兽,又用绳子把它套住,并把绳子递给那些黑人,叫他们去拖。他们把那死了的家伙拖到岸上,发现竟是一只很奇特的豹。此豹满身黑斑,非常美丽。黑人们一齐举起双手,表示无比惊讶。

他们怎么也想不出我是用什么东西把豹打死的。

枪声和火光早就把另一只巨兽吓得泅到岸上,一溜烟跑回山里去了。因为距离太远,我看不清它倒底是什么东西。不久我看出那些黑人想吃豹子肉,我当然乐意做个人情送给他们。对此,黑人们感激万分。他们马上动手剥皮。虽然他们没有刀子,用的是一片削薄了的木皮,但不一会儿就把豹皮剥下来了,比我们用刀子剥还快。他们要送些豹肉给我们,我表示不要,并做手势表示全部送给他们;不过我也表示想要那张豹皮。他们立刻满不在乎地给了我。他们又给了我许多粮食,尽管我不知道是些什么东西,但还是收下了。接着,我又打起手势向他们要水。我把一只罐子拿在手里,把罐底朝天罐口朝下翻转来,表示里面已空了,希望装满水。他们马上告诉自己的同伴,不久便有两个女人抬了一大泥缸水走来。

我猜想,那泥缸是用阳光焙制而成的。她们把泥缸放在地下,然后像第一次那样远远走开。我让佐立带了三只水罐上岸去取水。那些女人也和男人一样,全都赤身luoti(被禁止),(禁止)。

现在,我有了不少杂粮,又有了水,就离别了那些友好的黑人,一口气大约又航行了十一天,中间一次也没有登岸。

后来,我看到有一片陆地,长长地突出在海里,离我们的船约十三、四海里。当时风平浪静,我从远处经过这海角;最后,在离岸六海里左右绕过这小岬角后,又发现岬角的另一边海里也有陆地。这时,我已深信不疑,这儿就是佛得角,而对面的那些岛屿即是佛得角群岛。但岬角和岛屿离我都很远,我不知该怎么办才好。如果刮大风,那我一个地方也到不了。

在这进退维谷之际,我郁郁不乐地走进舱房坐了下来,让佐立去掌舵。突然,那孩子惊叫起来:"主人,主人,有一只大帆船!"这傻小子以为他原来的主人派船追了上来,几乎吓昏了头。我却很清楚,我们已驶得很远,他们决不可能追到这儿来。我跳出船舱一看,不仅立刻看到了船,而且看出,那是一艘葡萄牙船;我猜想,那是驶往几内亚海岸贩卖黑奴的船。但当我观察那船的航向时,我才知道,他们要去的是另一个方向,根本没有想靠岸的意思。因此,我拚命把船往海里开,并决心尽可能与他们取得联系。

我虽然竭力张帆行驶,但不久就看出,我根本无法横插到他们的航路上去;等不及我发信号,他们的船就会驶过去。

我满帆全速前进追赶了一阵子,就开始感到绝望了。然而,正当此时,他们好像在望远镜里发现了我们。他们看到我的船是一艘欧洲小艇,因此,一定以为是大船遇难后放出的救生艇,所以便落下帆等我们。这给了我极大的鼓舞。我船上本来就有我们原主人的旗帜,我就拿出旗帜向他们摇起来作为求救的信号,同时又鸣枪求救。这两个信号他们都看见了,因为,后来他们告诉我,枪声他们虽然没有听到,但看到了冒烟。他们看到了信号,就停船等我们。他们的这个举动真是仁慈极了。大约过了三小时光景,我才靠上了他们的大船。

他们用葡萄牙语,用西班牙语,用法语,问我是什么人,但他们的话我都不懂。后来,船上有一个苏格兰水手上来叫我,我便告诉他我是英格兰人,是从萨累的摩尔人手下逃出来的。于是,他们便十分和善地让我上了船,并把我的一切东西也都拿到大船上。

谁都相信,我竟然能绝处逢生,其喜悦之情,实在难于言表。我立刻把我的一切东西送给船长,以报答他的救命之恩。但船长非常慷慨。他对我说,他什么也不要,等我到了巴西后,他会把我所有的东西都交还给我。他说:"今天我救了你的命,希望将来有一天别人也会救我的命,说不定哪一天我也会遭到同样的命运。再说,我把你带到巴西,远离自己的祖国,如果我要了你的东西,你就会在异国他乡挨饿,这不等于我救了你的命,又送了你的命吗?不,不,英国先生,我把你送到巴西,完全是一种慈善行为。你的那些东西可以帮助你在那儿过活,并可做你回家的盘费。"他提出这些建议是十分仁慈的,而且一丝不苟地实践了自己的许诺。他给手下的船员下令,不准他们动我的任何东西。后来,他索性把我所有的东西都收归他自己保管,还给我列了一张清单,以便我以后要还。清单中连我的那三只装水的瓦罐也不漏掉。

他也看到,我的小艇很不错。他对我说,他想把小艇买下来,放在大船上使用,并要我开个价。我对他说,他对我这么慷慨大度,我实在不好意思开价,并告诉他,他愿出多少钱都可以。他说他可以先给我一张八十西班牙银币的钱(这种西班牙银币都打上一个""字)到巴西可换取现金。到了巴西,如果有人愿意出更高的价钱,他愿意全数补足。他又表示愿出六十西班牙银币买下佐立。这钱我实在不能接受。

我倒不是不愿意把佐立给船长,而是我不愿意出卖这可怜的孩子的自由。在我争取自由的逃跑过程中,他对我可谓忠心耿耿。我把不愿出卖佐立的原因告诉了船长,他认为我说得有理,就提出了一个折衷的方案:这孩子如果成为基督徒,则十年后还其自由,并签约为仆。基于这个条件,我终于同意了,因为佐立自己也表示愿意跟随船长。

去巴西的航行十分顺利,大约二十二天之后,就到达了群圣湾。现在我摆脱了困境,该打算打算下一步怎么办了。

船长对我慷慨无私的好处,真是记不胜记。他不仅不收我的船费,并出二十枚欧洲流通金币买下我的豹皮,四十枚金币买下狮子皮。我小艇上的一应物品,立刻如数奉还给我;我愿出卖的东西,他又都通通买下,包括酒箱、两支枪、剩下的一大块蜜蜡,(其余的我都做成蜡烛在旅途中点掉了。)简而言之,我变卖物品共得了二百二十西班牙银币;带着这笔钱,我踏上了巴西海岸。 ---------------------------------------

我到巴西不久,船长把我介绍给一位种植园主;这人与船长一样正直无私。他拥有一个甘蔗种植园和一个制糖厂。我在他家住了一段时间,了解了一些种甘蔗和制糖的方法。我看到,在巴西的这些种植园主生活优裕,他们都在短时期内就发家致富了。所以我想,如果我能获得在巴西的居留证,我也要做个种植园主。同时,我决定设法把我寄存在伦敦的那笔钱汇到巴西来。为了获得入藉证书,我倾囊买了一些没有开垦过的土地,并根据我将要从伦敦收到的资本,拟定了一个经管种植园和定居的计划。

我有个邻居,是葡萄牙人,生于里斯本,但他父母却是英国人。他名叫威尔斯。当时他的境况与我差不多。我称他为邻居,是因为我们两家的种植园紧紧相邻,而且我们也经常来往。我们两人的资本都很少。开始两年,我们只种些粮食为生。可是不久,我们开始发展起来,经营的种植园也开始走上了轨道。因此,在第三年,我们种了一些烟草;同时,我们各自又购进了一大块土地,准备来年种甘蔗。然而,我们都感到缺乏劳动力。这时,我想到真不该把佐立让给别人,以致现在后悔莫及。

可是,天哪,我这个人老是把事情办糟,却从未办好过一件事情;这种行事处世对我来说又不足为怪了。现在我已别无选择,只能勉强维持下去。现在的生计与我的天性和才能是完全不相称的,与我所向往的生活也大相径庭。为了我所向往的生活,我违抗父命,背井离乡。我现在经营种植园,也快过上我父亲一直劝我过的中产阶级生活了。但是,如果我真的想过中产阶级的生活,那我可以完全呆在家里,何必在世界上到处闯荡,劳苦自己呢?要过上中产阶级的生活,我完全可以留在英国,生活在亲朋好友中间,又何必千里迢迢,来到这举目无亲的荒山僻壤之地,与野蛮人为伍呢?在这儿,我远离尘世,谁也不知道我的音讯。

每当我想到自己目前的境遇,总是悔恨不已。除了偶尔与我的那位邻居交往外,简直没有其他人可以交谈。我也没有什么工作可做,只有用自己的双手辛苦劳作。我老是对自己说,我就像被丢弃在一个杳无人烟的荒岛上,形单影只,雀然一身。可是,当人们把自己目前的处境与境况更糟的人相比时,老天往往会让他们换一换地位,好让他们以自己的亲身阅历,体会过去生活的幸福。老天爷这么做是十分公道的。

对此,我们人人都得好好反省一下。我把自己目前的生活,比作荒岛上孤独的生活,结果我真的命中注定要过这种生活,那正是因为我不应该不满足于当前的境遇。老天爷这样对待我,也真是天公地道的。要是我真的继续我当时的生活,也许我可以变成个大富翁呢!

当我经营种植园的计划稍有眉目时,我的朋友,就是在海上救我的船长,又回来了。这次他的船是停在这儿装货的,货装完后再出航,航程将持续三个月左右。我告诉他,我在伦敦还有一笔小小的资本;他给了我一个友好而又诚恳的建议。"英国先生,"他说,他一直这么叫我的,"你写封信,再给我一份正式委托书请那位在伦敦替你保管存款的人把钱汇到里斯本,交给我所指定的人,再用那笔钱办一些这儿有用的货物。我回来时,如果上帝保佑,就可替你一起运来。可是,天有不测风云,人有旦夕祸福,我建议你动用你一半的资本,也就是一百英镑,冒一下险。如果一切顺利,你可以用同样的方法支取另一半。那样,即使万一失手,你还可用剩下的一半来接济自己。"船长的建议确实是一个万全良策,且出于真诚的友谊。我深信,这简直是一个万无一失的办法。所以,我按船长的要求,给保管我存款的太太写了一封信,并又写了一份委托书,交给这位葡萄牙船长。

在我给那位英国船长寡妇的信里,我详细叙述了我的冒险经历。我怎样成了奴隶,怎样逃跑,又怎样在海上遇到这位葡萄牙船长,船长又怎样对我慷慨仁慈,以及我目前的境况。此外,我还把我需要的货物详细地开列了一个单子。这位正直的葡萄牙船长到了里斯本之后,通过在里斯本的某个英国商人,设法把我的信以及我冒险经历的详情,送达在伦敦的一位商人;这位伦敦商人又把我的情况详详细细地转告了那位寡妇。这位太太接到了信,获知了我的遭遇后,不仅把钱如数交出,还从自己的私人积蓄中拿出一笔钱来酬谢葡萄牙船长,以报答他对我的恩情。

在伦敦的那位商人用这笔钱--一百英镑--购买了葡萄牙船长开列的单子上的全部货物,直接运往里斯本给船长。

船长又把全部货物安全运抵巴西。在这些货物中,他替我带来了各种各样的工具、铁器和用具;这些都是经营种植园非常有用的东西。船长对我可谓想得周到备至,因为我自己并未想到要带这些东西。当时,我经营种植园还是个新手呢!

当这批货物运抵巴西时,我以为自己发了大财了,真是喜出望外。同时,我的那位能干的管家,就是这位船长,用那位寡妇给他作为礼物的五英镑钱,替我买了一个佣人,契约期为六年;在此期间,他不拿报酬,只要给他一点我们自己种的烟草就行了。这点烟草也是我一定要给他他才收受的。

不仅如此,我的货物,什么布啊,绒啊,粗呢啊等等,都是地地道道的英国货;另外一些东西则都是这儿特别贵重和需要的物品。我设法高价出售,结果赚了四倍的利润。现在,就我的种植园发展情况而言,已大大超过了我那可怜的邻居了。因为,我做的第一件事,就是先买了一个黑奴和一个欧洲人佣人。另外,前面提到过,那位葡萄牙船长从里斯本也给我带来了一个仆人。

常言道,富得快,麻烦来。我的情形完全是这样。第二年,我的种植园大获成功。我从自己的地里收了五十捆烟叶,除了供应当地的需要外,还剩下很多。这五十捆烟叶每捆一百多磅重;我都把它们晒好存放起来,专等那些商船从里斯本回来。这时,生意发展,资财丰厚,我的头脑里又开始充满了各种不切实际的计划和梦想。这种虚妄的念头往往会毁掉最有头脑的商人。

我若能长此安居乐业下去,生活必然会无比幸福。正是为了能获得这些幸福,我父亲曾竭力规劝我过一种安份守己的平静生活;而且,他告诉我,只有中间地位的生活,才享有种种幸福。他的看法确实是通情达理、切合实际的。然而,冥冥中另一种命运在等待着我。我自己一手造成了自己的不幸,增加了自己的过错,使我后来回想起来倍加悔恨。我后来遭遇的种种灾难都是由于我执迷不悟,坚持我遨游世界的愚蠢愿望,并刻意去实现这种愿望。结果,我违背了大自然与造物主的意愿和自己的天职,放弃用通常正当的手段追求幸福的生活,以致给自己造成无穷的危害。

正如我上次从父母身边逃走一样,这时我又开始不满于现状。我本来可以靠经营种植园发家致富,可我偏偏把这种幸福的远景丢之脑后,去追求一种不切实际的妄想;异想天开,想做个暴发户,而不是像通常一般人那样靠勤劳积累致富。这样,我又把自己抛入人世间最不幸的深渊。如果我没有那种种虚幻的妄想,我的生活一定会康乐安适的。

现在,让我把以后发生的一切慢慢向读者细说。你们可以想象,当时我在巴西已呆了四年,我经营的种植园也渐渐兴旺发展起来。我不仅学会了当地的语言,而且,在种植园主和城里的商人中间有了不少熟人,交了不少朋友。我说的城里,就是我在巴西登陆的港口城市圣萨尔瓦多。我与他们交谈时,经常谈到我去几内亚沿岸的两次航行,告诉他们与黑人做生意的情况。我对他们说,与黑人做生意真太容易了,只要用一些杂七杂八的货物,什么假珠子啦,玩具啦,刀子剪子啦,斧头啦,以及玻璃制品之类的东西,就可换来金沙、几内亚香料及象牙之类贵重物品,还可换来黑奴。在巴西,当时正需要大量的黑奴劳动力。

每当我谈论这些话题的时候,大家都仔细倾听;尤其是买卖黑奴的事,更引其他们的兴趣。当时,贩运黑奴的买卖还刚刚开始。从事贩卖黑奴的商人必须签约,保证为西班牙殖民地和葡萄牙殖民地供应黑奴,并必须获得西班牙国王或葡萄牙国王的批准。贩运黑奴是一种垄断的贸易,因而在巴西黑奴进口的数量不多,价钱也特别昂贵。

有一次,我与一些熟悉的种植园主和商人又很起劲地谈论这些事情。第二天上午,有三个人来找我。他们对我说,他们对我昨天晚上的谈话认真思考了一番,特前来向我提出一个建议。但他们说,这建议必须保密。因此他们要求我严守秘密。然后,他们对我说,他们想装备一条船去几内亚。他们说,他们都像我一样有种植园,但最感缺乏的是劳动力。他们不可能专门从事贩运黑奴的买卖,因为他们回巴西后不可能公开出售黑奴,因此,他们打算只去几内亚一次,回巴西后把黑奴偷偷送上岸,然后大家均分到各自的种植园里去。简而言之,现在的问题是,我愿不愿意管理他们船上的货物,并经办几内亚海岸交易的事务。他们提出,我不必拿出任何资本,但回来后带回的黑奴与我一起均分。

必须承认,如果这个建议是向一个没有在这儿定居,也没有自己经营的种植园的人提出来的话,确是十分诱人的。因为这很有希望赚一大笔钱,何况他们是下了大资本的,而我却不必花一个子儿。但我的情况却完全不同。我已在巴西立足,只要把自己的种植园再经营两三年,并把存放在英国的一百英镑再汇来,那时,再加上那点小小的积蓄,不愁不挣出一个三四千英镑的家当,而且还会不断增加。处于我现在这种境况的人,再想去进行这次航行,那简直就太荒唐了。

但我这个人真是命里注定自取灭亡,竟然抵御不了这种提议的诱惑,就像我当初一心要周游世界而不听父亲的忠告一样。一句话,我告诉他们,只要他们答应我不在的时候照料我的种植园,如果我失事遇难的话,又能按照我的嘱咐处理种植园,那我极愿同他们一同前往几内亚。对此他们都一一答应,并立下了字据。我又立了一份正式的遗嘱,安排我的种植园和财产。我立我的救命恩人船长为我种植园和财产的全权继承人,但他应按照我在遗嘱中的指示处置我的财产:一半归他自己,一半运往英国。

总之,我采取一切可能的措施,竭力保护好自己的财产,并维持种植园的经营。但是,如果我能用一半的心思来关注自己的利益,判断一下应做和不应做的事情,我就决不会放弃自己正在日益兴旺的事业,把发家致富的前景丢之脑后而踏上这次航行。要知道,海上航行总是凶险难测的,更何况我自己也清楚,我这个人总是会遭到种种不幸。

可是,我却被命运驱使,盲目听从自己的妄想,而把理智丢之九霄云外。于是,我把船只装备好,把货也装好;同伴们也按照合同把我托付的事情安排妥当。我于一六五九年九月一日上了船。这是一个不吉利的日子。八年前,我违抗父母严命,不顾自己的利益,从赫尔上船离家,也正是九月一日。

我们的船载重一百二十吨,装备有六门炮,除了船长、他的小佣人和我自己外,另外还有十四个人。船上没有什么大件的货物,只是一些适合与黑人交易的小玩意儿,像假珠子啦,玻璃器具啦、贝壳啦,以及其他一些新奇的零星杂货,像望远镜啦、刀子啦、剪刀啦、斧子啦等等。

我上船的那天,船就开了。我们沿着海岸向北航行,计划驶至北纬十至十二度之间后,横渡大洋,直放非洲。这是一条当时通常从南美去非洲的航线。我们沿着巴西海岸向北行驶。一路上天气很好,就是太热。最后我们到达圣奥古斯丁角,那是在巴西东部突入海里的一块高地。过了圣奥古斯丁角,我们就离开海岸,向大海中驶去,航向东北偏北,似乎要驶向费尔南多德诺罗尼亚岛,再越过那些岛屿向西开去。

我们沿着这条航线航行,大约十二天之后穿过了赤道。根据我们最后一次观测,我们已经到了北纬七度二十二分的地方。

不料这时我们突然遭到一股强烈飓风的袭击。这股飓风开始从东南刮来,接着转向西北,最后刮起了强劲的东北风。猛烈的大风连刮十二天,使我们一筹莫展,只得让船乘风逐浪飘流,听任命运和狂风的摆布。不必说,在这十二天中,我每天都担心被大浪吞没,船上的其他人也没有一个指望能活命。

在这危急的情况下,风暴已使我们惊恐万状,而这时船上一个人又患热带病死去,还有一个人和那个小佣人被大浪卷到海里去了。到第二十二天,风浪稍息;船长尽其所能进行了观察,发现我们的船已刮到北纬十一度左右的地方,但在圣奥古斯丁角以西二十二经度。船长发现,我们的船现在所处的位置在巴西北部或圭亚那海岸;我们已经驶过了亚马孙河的入海口,靠近那条号称"大河"的俄利诺科河了。

于是,船长与我商量航行线路。他主张把船开回巴西海岸,因为船已渗漏得很厉害,而且损坏严重。

我竭力反对驶回巴西。我和他一起查看了美洲沿岸的航海图,最后得到的结论是,除非我们驶到加勒比群岛,否则就找不到有人烟的地方可以求援。因此,我们决定向巴尔巴多群岛驶去。据我们估计,只要我们能避开墨西哥湾的逆流,在大海里航行,就可在半个月之内到达。在那儿,如果我们不能把船修一下,补充食物和人员,我们就不可能到达非洲海岸。

计划一定,我们便改变航向,向西北偏西方向驶去,希望能到达一个英属海岛;在那儿我希望能获得救援。但航行方向却不由我们自己决定。在北纬十二度十八分处,我们又遇到了第二阵暴风,风势与前一次同样凶猛,把我们的船向西方刮去,最后把我们刮出当时正常的贸易航线,远离人类文明地区。在这种情境下,即使我们侥幸不葬身鱼腹,也会给野人吃掉;至于回国,那谈都不用谈了。

狂风不停地劲吹,情况万分危急。一天早上,船上有个人突然大喊一声:"陆地!"我们刚想跑出舱外,去看看我们究竟到了什么地方,船却突然搁浅在一片沙滩上动弹不得了。

滔天大浪不断冲进船里,我们都感到死亡已经临头了。我们大家都躲到舱里去,逃避海浪的冲击。

没有身临其境,是不可能描述或领会我们当时惊惧交加的情景。我们不知道当时身处何地,也不知道给风暴刮到了什么地方:是岛屿还是大陆,是有人烟的地方,还是杳无人迹的蛮荒地区。这时风势虽比先前略减,但依然凶猛异常。我们知道,我们的船已支持不了几分钟了,随时都可能被撞成碎片,除非出现奇迹,风势会突然停息。总之,我们大家坐在一起,面面相觑,时刻等待着死亡的来临,准备去另一个世界,因为,在这个世界上,我们已无能为力了。这时,船没有像我们所担心的那样被撞得粉碎,同时风势也渐渐减弱,使我们稍感安慰。

风势虽然稍减,可船搁浅在沙里,无法动弹,因此情况依然十分危急。我们只能尽力自救。在风暴到来之前,船尾曾拖着一只小艇。可是大风把小船刮到大船的舵上撞破了,后来又被卷到海里,不知是沉了,还是飘走了。所以对此我们只得作罢了。船上还有一只小艇,只是不知如何把它放到海里去。但现在我们已没有时间商量这个问题了,因为我们觉得大船时刻都会被撞得粉碎。有些人甚至还说,船实际上已经破了。

在这危急之际,大副抓住那只小艇,大家一起用力,把小艇放到大船旁。然后,我们十一个人一起上了小艇,解开小艇缆绳,就听凭上帝和风浪支配我们的命运了。虽然这时风势已减弱了不少,但大海依然波涛汹涌,排山倒海向岸上冲去。难怪荷兰人把暴风雨中的大海称之为"疯狂的海洋",真是形象极了。

我们当时的处境是非常凄惨的。我们明白,在这种洪涛巨浪中,我们的小艇是万难生存的,我们不可避免地都要被淹死。我们没有帆,即使有,也无法使用。我们只能用桨向岸上划去,就像是走上刑场的犯人,心情十分沉重。因为,我们知道,小艇一靠近海岸,马上就会被海浪撞得粉碎。然而,我们只能听天由命,顺着风势拼命向岸上划去。我们这么做,无疑是自己加速自己的灭亡。

等待着我们的海岸是岩石还是沙滩,是陡岸还是浅滩,我们一无所知。我们仅存的一线希望是,进入一个海湾或河口,侥幸把小艇划进去;或划近避风的陡岸,找到一片风平浪静的水面。但我们既看不到海湾或河口,也看不到陡岸;而且,我们越靠近海岸,越感到陆地比大海更可怕。

我们半划着桨,半被风驱赶着,大约走了四海里多。忽然一个巨浪排山倒海从我们后面滚滚而来,无疑将给我们的小艇以致命一击。说时迟,那时快,巨浪顿时把我们的小艇打得船底朝天;我们都落到海里,东一个,西一个。大家还来不及喊一声"噢,上帝啊!",就通通被波涛吞没了。

当我沉入水中时,心乱如麻,实难言表。我平日虽善泅水,但在这种惊涛骇浪之中,连浮起来呼吸一下也十分困难。

最后,海浪把我冲上了岸,等浪势使尽而退时,把我留在半干的岸上。虽然海水已把我灌得半死,但我头脑尚清醒,见到自己已靠近陆地,就立即爬起来拼命向陆上奔去,以免第二个浪头打来时再把我卷入大海。可是,我立即发现,这种情境已无法逃脱,只见身后高山似的海浪汹涌而至,我根本无法抗拒,也无力抗拒。这时,我只能尽力气息浮出水面,并竭力向岸上游去。我唯一的希愿是,海浪把我冲近岸边后,不再把我卷回大海。

巨浪扑来,把我埋入水中二三十英尺深。我感到海浪迅速而猛力地把我推向岸边。同时,我自己屏住呼吸,也拼命向岸上游去。我屏住呼吸气得肺都快炸了。正当此时,我感到头和手已露出水面,虽然只短短两秒钟,却使我得以重新呼吸,并大大增强了勇气,也大大减少了痛苦。紧接着我又被埋入浪中,但这一次时间没有上次那么长,我总算挺了过来。等我感到海浪势尽而退时,就拼命在后退的浪里向前挣扎。我的脚又重新触到了海滩。我站了一会,喘了口气,一等海水退尽,立即拔脚向岸上没命奔去。但我还是无法逃脱巨浪的袭击。巨浪再次从我背后汹涌而至,一连两次又像以前那样把我卷起来,推向平坦的海岸。

这两次大浪的冲击,后一次几乎要了我的命,因为海浪把我向前推时,把我冲撞到一块岩石上,使我立即失去了知觉,动弹不得。原来这一撞,正好撞在我胸口上,使我几乎透不过起来。假如此时再来一个浪头,我必定憋死在水里了。

好在第二个浪头打来之前我已苏醒,看到情势危急,自己必为海水吞没,就决心紧抱岩石,等海水一退,又往前狂奔一阵,跑近了海岸。后一个浪头赶来时,只从我头上盖了过去,已无力把我吞没或卷走了。我又继续向前跑,终于跑到岸边,攀上岸上的岩石,在草地上坐了下来。这时,我总算脱离了危险,海浪已不可能再袭击我了,心里感到无限的宽慰。

我现在既已登上了陆地,平安上岸,便仰脸向天,感谢上帝令我绝处逢生,因为几分钟之前,我还几乎无一线生还的希望。现在我相信,当一个人像我这样能死里逃生,他那种心荡神怡,喜不自胜的心情,确实难以言表。我也完全能理解我们英国的一种风俗,即当恶人被套上绞索,收紧绳结,正要被吊起来的时刻,赦书适到。这种情况下,往往外科医生随赦书同时到达,以便给犯人放血,免得他喜极而血气攻心,晕死过去:狂喜极悲,均令人灵魂出窍。

我在岸上狂乱地跑来跑去,高举双手,做出千百种古怪的姿势。这时,我全部的身心都在回忆着自己死里逃生的经过,并想到同伴们全都葬身大海,唯我独生,真是不可思议。

因为后来我只见到几顶帽子和一顶便帽,以及两只不成双的鞋子在随波逐流。

我遥望那只搁浅了的大船,这时海上烟波迷茫,船离岸甚远,只能隐约可见。我不由感叹:"上帝啊,我怎么竟能上岸呢!"我自我安慰了一番,庆幸自己死而复生。然后,我开始环顾四周,看看我究竟到了什么地方,想想下一步该怎么办。

但不看则已,这一看使我的情绪立即低落下来。我虽获救,却又陷入了另一种绝境。我浑身湿透,却没有衣服可更换;我又饥又渴,却没有任何东西可充饥解渴。我看不到有任何出路,除了饿死,就是给野兽吃掉。我身上除了一把小刀、一个烟斗和一小匣烟叶,别无他物。这使我忧心如焚,有好一阵子,我在岸上狂乱地跑来跑去,像疯子一样。夜色降临,我想到野兽多半在夜间出来觅食,更是愁思满腔。我想,若这儿真有猛兽出没,我的命运将会如何呢?

在我附近有一棵枝叶茂密的大树,看上去有点像纵树,但有刺。我想出的唯一办法是:爬上去坐一整夜再说,第二天再考虑死的问题吧,因为我看不出有任何生路可言。我从海岸向里走了几十米,想找些淡水喝,居然给我找到了,真使我大喜过望。喝完水,又取了点烟叶放到嘴里充饥,然后爬上树,尽可能躺得稳当些,以免睡熟后从树上跌下来。我事先还从树上砍了一根树枝,做了一根短棍防身。由于疲劳之极,我立即睡着了,真是睡得又熟又香。我想,任何人,处在我现在的环境下,决不会睡得像我这么香的。

 

 

第四章  岛上的最初几个星期

一觉醒来,天已大亮。这时,风暴已过,天气晴朗,海面上也不像以前那样波浪滔天了。然而,最使我惊异的是,那只搁浅的大船,在夜里被潮水浮出沙滩后,又给冲到我先前被撞伤的那块岩石附近。现在这船离岸仅一海里左右,并还好好地停在那儿。我想我若能上得大船,就可以拿出一些日常生活的必需品。

我从树上睡觉的地方下来,环顾四周,发现那只逃生的小艇被风浪冲到陆地上搁在那儿,离我右方约两英里处。我沿着海岸向小艇走去,但发现小艇与我所在的地方横隔着一个小水湾,约有半英里宽。于是我就折回来了。因为,当前最要紧的是我得设法上大船,希望在上面能找到一些日常应用的东西。

午后不久,海面风平浪静,潮水也已远远退去。我只要走下海岸,泅上几十米,即可到达大船。这时,我心里不禁又难过起来。因为我想到,倘若昨天我们全船的人不下小艇,仍然留在大船上,大家必定会平安无事。这时就可安抵陆地;我也不会像现在这样,孤苦伶仃孑然一身了。而现在,我既无乐趣,又无伴侣。想到这里,我忍不住流下泪来。可是,现在悲伤于事无济,我即决定只要可能就先上船去。当时,天气炎热,我便脱掉衣服,跳下水去。可是,当我泅到船边时,却没法上去,因为船已搁浅,故离水面很高;我两臂所及,没有任何可以抓住的东西。我绕船游了两圈,忽然发现一根很短的绳子。我惊异自己先前竟没有看见这根绳子。那绳子从船头上挂下来,绳头接近水面;我毫不费力地抓住绳子往上攀登,进入了船上的前舱。上去后发现船已漏水,舱底进满了水。因为船搁浅在一片坚硬的沙滩上,船尾上翘,船头几乎都浸在水里,所以船的后半截没有进水。可以想像,我急于要查看一下哪些东西已损坏,哪些东西还完好无损。首先,我发现船上的粮食都还干燥无恙。这时,我当然先要吃些东西,就走到面包房去,把饼干装满了自己的衣袋,同时边吃边干其他活儿,因为我必须抓紧时间才行。我又在大舱里找到了一些甘蔗酒,就喝了一大杯。此时此刻,我极需喝点酒提提神。我这时只想有一只小船,把我认为将来需要的东西,统统运到岸上去。

呆坐着空想获得不存在的东西是没有用的。这么一想,使我萌发了自己动手的念头。船上有几根备用的帆杠,还有两三块木板,一两根多余的第二接桅。我决定由此着手,只要搬得动的,都从船上扔下去。在把这些木头扔下水之前,先都用绳子绑好,以免被海水冲走。然后,我又把它们一一用绳子拉近船边,把四根木头绑在一起,两头尽可能绑紧,扎成一只木排的样子,又用两三块短木板横放在上面,我上去走了走,倒还稳当,就是木头太轻吃不住多少重量。于是我又动手用木匠的锯子把一根第二接桅锯成三段加到木排上。

这工作异常吃力辛苦,但我因急于想把必需的物品运上岸,也就干下来了。要在平时,我是无论如何不可能完成如此艰巨的工程的。

木排做得相当牢固,也能吃得住相当的重量。接着我就考虑该装些什么东西上去,还要防止东西给海浪打湿。不久我便想出了办法。我先把船上所能找到的木板都铺在木排上,然后考虑了一下所需要的东西。我打开三只船员用的箱子,把里面的东西倒空,再把它们一一吊到木排上。第一只箱子里我主要装食品:粮食、面包、米、三块荷兰酪干、五块羊肉干,以及一些剩下来的欧洲麦子--这些麦子原来是喂船上的家禽的。现在家禽都已死了。船上本来还有一点大麦和小麦,但后来发现都给老鼠吃光了或搞脏了,使我大为失望。至于酒类,我也找到了几箱,那都是船长的。里面有几瓶烈性甜酒,还有五、六加仑椰子酒。我把酒放在一边,因为没有必要把酒放进箱子,更何况箱子里东西也已塞满了。在我这般忙碌的时候,只见潮水开始上涨,虽然风平浪静,但还是把我留在岸边的上衣、衬衫和背心全部冲走了。这使我非常懊丧,因为我游泳上船时,只穿了一条长短及膝的麻纱短裤和一双袜子。这倒使我不得不找些衣服穿了。船里衣服很多,但我只挑了几件目前要穿的,因为我认为有些东西更重要,尤其是木工工具。我找了半天,总算找到了那只木匠箱子。此时工具对我来说是最重要的,即使是整船的金子也没有这箱木匠工具值钱。我把箱子放到木排上,不想花时间去打开看一下,因为里面装些什么工具我心里大致有数。

其次,我必须搞到枪枝和弹药。大舱里原来存放着两支很好的鸟枪和两支手枪,我都拿了来,又拿了几只装火药的角筒,一小包子弹和两把生锈的旧刀。我知道船上还有三桶火药,只是不知道炮手们把它们放在什么地方了。我找了半天,终于找到了。有两桶仍干燥可用,另一桶已浸水了。我就把两桶干燥的火药连同枪支一起放到木排上。这时我发现木排上装的东西已不少了,就开始动脑筋如何运上岸,因为一没帆、二没桨、三没舵,只要有点风,就会把木排打翻在海里。

当时,有三点情况令人鼓舞:第一,海面平静如镜;第二,时值涨潮,海水正向岸上冲;第三,虽有微风,却也吹向岸上。我找到了原来小艇上用的三支断桨;此外,除了工具箱中的那些工具外,另外还找出了两把锯子,一把斧头和一只头。货物装载完毕,我就驾起木排向岸上进发。最初一海里,木排行驶相当稳当,但却稍稍偏离了我昨天登陆的地方。至此,我发现,原来这一带的水流直向岸边一个方向流去。因此,我想附近可能会有一条小溪或小河,果真如此的话,我就可驾木排进入港口卸货了。

果然不出所料,不久我就看到了一个小湾,潮水正直往里涌。于是我驾着木排,尽可能向急流的中心飘去。在这里,我几乎又一次遭到了沉船失事的灾祸。果真那样,那我可要伤透心了。因为我尚不熟悉地形,木排的一头忽然一下子搁浅在沙滩上,而另一头却还飘在水里。只差一点,木排上的货物就会滑向飘在水里的一头而最后滑入水中。这种情况下,我只能竭尽全力用背顶住那些箱子,不让它们下滑。但我怎么用力也无法撑开木排,而且,我只能死顶着,无法脱身做其他事情。就这样我足足顶了半个钟头。直到后来,潮水继续上涨,木排才稍平衡。又过了一会儿,潮水越涨越高,木排又浮了起来。我用桨把木排向小河的入海口撑去,终于进入河口。这儿两边是岸,潮水直往里涌。我观察了一下小河两岸的地势,准备找个合适的地方停靠。我不想驶入小河太远的地方,而是想尽量靠近海边的地方上岸,因为我希望能看到海上过往的船只。

最后,我终于在小河的右岸发现一个小湾。我费尽艰辛,好不容易把木排驶到最浅的地方。我用桨抵住河底,尽力把木排撑进去。可是,在这里,我几乎又一次险些把货物全都倒翻在水里。这一带河岸又陡又直,找不到可以登岸的地方。

如果木排一头搁浅在岸上,另一头必定会像前次那样向下倾斜,结果货物又有滑向水里的危险。这时,我只好用桨作锚,把木排一边固定在一片靠近河岸的平坦的沙滩上,以等待潮水涨高,漫过沙滩再说。后来,潮水果然继续上涨,漫上沙滩,等水涨得够高了,我就把木排撑过去,因为木排吃水有一尺多深。到了那儿,我用两支断桨(禁止)沙滩里,前后各一支,把木排停泊好,单等潮水退去,就可把木排和货物品平安安地留在岸上了。

接下来我得观察一下周围的地形,找个合适的地方安置我的住所和贮藏东西,以防发生意外。至今我还不知自己身处何地,在大陆上呢,还是在小岛上,有人烟的地方呢,还是没有人烟的地方,有野兽呢,还是没有野兽。离我不到一英里的地方,有一座小山,高高耸立于北面的山丘之上,看来那是一道山脉。我拿了一支鸟枪、一支手枪和一角筒火药,向那座山的山顶走去。历尽艰辛,总算爬上了山顶;环顾四周,不禁令我悲伤万分。原来我上了一个海岛,四面环海,极目所至,看不见一片陆地,只见远方几块孤岩礁石;再就是西边有两个比本岛还小的岛屿,约在十五海里开外。

我还发现,这个海岛非常荒凉,看来荒无人烟,只有野兽出没其间,但至今我尚未遇见过任何野兽,却看到无数飞禽,可都叫不出是什么飞禽,也不知道打死之后肉好不好吃。

回来路上,见一只大鸟停在大树林旁的一棵树上,就向它开了一枪。我相信,自上帝创造这世界以来,第一次有人在这个岛上开枪。枪声一响,整个森林里飞出无数的飞鸟,各种鸟鸣聒噪而起,呼号交作,乱成一片,但我却叫不出一个来。

我打死的那只鸟,从毛色和嘴看,像是一种老鹰,但没有钩爪,其肉酸腐难吃,毫无用处。

到此时我感到对岛上的环境已了解得差不多了,就回到木排旁,动手把货物搬上岸来。那天剩下的时间全都用在搬物品上了。至于夜间怎么办,在什么地方安息,则还心中无数。我当然不敢睡在地上,怕野兽来把我吃掉。后来才发现,这种担心是多余的。

但我还是尽我所能,把运到岸上的那些箱子和木板,搭成一个像木头房子似的住所,把自己围起来保护自己,以便晚上可睡在里面。至于吃的,我至今还未想出办法如何为自己提供食物。在我打鸟的地方,曾见过两三只野兔似的动物从树林里跑出来。

这时我想到,船上还有许多有用的东西,尤其是那些绳索,帆布以及许多其他东西都可以搬上岸来。我决定只要可能,就再上船去一次。我知道,要是再刮大风暴,船就会彻底毁了。因此,我决定别的事以后再说,先把船上能搬下来的东西通通搬下来。这么一想,我就琢磨再次上船的办法。看来,再把大木排撑回去是不可能了。所以,我只好等潮水退后,像上次那样泅水过去。决心一下,我就立即付诸实施。不过,在我走出木屋之前,先脱掉衣服,只穿一件衬衫、一条短裤和一双薄底鞋。

我像前次那样上了船,并又做了一个木排。有了上次的经验,我不再把木排做得像第一个那么笨重了,也不再装那么多货物了,但还是运回了许多有用的东西。首先,我在木匠舱房里找到了三袋钉子和螺丝钉,一把大钳子,二十来把小斧,尤其有用的是一个磨刀砂轮。我把这些东西都安放在一起,再拿了一些炮手用的物品,特别是两三只起货用的铁钩,两桶枪弹,七支短枪、一支鸟枪,还有一小堆火药,一大袋小子弹,还有一大卷铅皮。可铅皮太重,我无法把它从船上吊到木排上。

此外,我搜集了能找到的所有男人穿的衣服和一个备用樯帆--那是一个前桅中帆,一个吊床和一些被褥。我把这些东西装上我的第二只木排,并平安地运到岸上。这使我深感宽慰。

在我离岸期间,我曾担心岸上的粮食会给什么动物吃掉。

可是回来一看,却不见有任何不速之客来访的迹象,但见一只野猫似的动物站在一只箱子上。我走近它时,它就跑开几步,然后又站在那里一动也不动。这小家伙神态泰然自若,直直地瞅着我的脸,毫无惧色,还好像要与我交个朋友似的。我用枪把它拨了一下,可这小家伙一点都不在乎,根本就没有想跑开的意思,因为它不懂那枪是什么东西。于是,我丢给它一小块饼干。说实在的,我手头并不宽裕,存粮不多,但还是分给它一小块。那家伙走过去闻了闻,就吃下去了,好像吃得很有味,还想向我要。可是,对不起了,我自己实在没有多少了,只能谢绝它的要求。于是,那小家伙就走开了。

第二批货上岸后,我很想把两桶火药打开,分成小包藏起来,因为两大桶的火药份量太重,但我得先用船上的帆布和砍好的支柱做一顶帐篷,把凡是经不起雨打日晒的东西通通搬进去;又把那些空箱子和空桶放在帐篷周围,以防人或野兽的突然袭击。

帐篷搭好,防卫筑好,我又用几块木板把帐篷门从里面堵住,门外再竖上一只空箱子。然后,我在地上搭起一张床,头边放两支手枪,床边再放上一支长枪,总算第一次能上床睡觉了。我整夜睡得很安稳,因为昨天晚上睡得很少,白天又从船上取东西、运东西,辛苦了一整天,实在疲倦极了。

我相信,我现在所拥有的各种武器弹药,其数量对单独一个人来说是空前的。但我并不以此为满足,我想趁那只船还搁浅在那儿时,尽可能把可以搬动的东西弄下来。因此,我每天趁退潮时上船,每次都运回些东西。特别是第三次,我把船上所有的粗细绳子通通取了来,同时又拿了一块备用帆布,那是备着补帆用的;我甚至把那桶受了潮的火药也运了回来,一句话,我把船上的帆都拿了下来,不过我都把它们裁成一块块的,每次能拿多少就拿多少,因为现在,我需要的不是帆,而是帆布。

但最令我快慰的是,在我这样跑了五、六趟之后,满以为船上已没什么东西值得我搜寻了,不料又找到了一大桶面包,三桶甘蔗酒,一箱砂糖和一桶上等面粉。这真是意外的收获,因为我以为除那些已浸水的粮食外,已不会再有什么食品了。我立刻将一大桶面包倒出来,把它们用裁好的一块块帆布包起来,平安地运到岸上。

第二天,我又到船上去了一趟。这时,我看到船上凡是我拿得动而又易于搬运的东西,已被我掠取一空。于是我就动手搬取船上的锚索。我把锚索截成许多小段,以便于搬运。

我把船上两根锚索和一根铁缆以及其他能搬动的铁器都取下来,又把船上的前帆杠和后帆杠,以及所有能找到的其他木料也都砍下来,扎成一个大木排,再把那些东西装上去运回岸。但这次运气不佳。因为木排做得太笨重,载货又多,当木排驶进卸货的小湾后,失去控制。结果木排一翻,连货带人,通通掉进水里去了。人倒没有受伤,因木排离岸已近;可是,我的货物却大部分都损失了。尤其是那些铁器,我本来指望将来会有用处的。不过,退潮后,我还是把大部分锚索和铁器从水里弄了上来;这工作当然十分吃力,我不得不潜入水里把它们一一打捞上来。后来,我照样每天到船上去一次,把能够搬下来的东西都搬下来。

我现在已上岸十三天了,到船上却去了十一次。在这十多天里,我已把我双手拿得动的东西,通通搬了下来。可是,我相信,假如天气好下去,我一定可以把全船拆成一块块的木板搬到岸上。当我正准备第十二次上船时,开始刮起了大风,但我还是在退潮时上了船,尽管我以为我已搜遍了全船,不可能再找到什么有用的东西了,结果还是有新发现。我找到了一个有抽屉的柜子,在一个抽屉里,我找出了两三把剃刀,一把大剪刀,十几副刀叉;在另一个抽屉里,还发现了许多钱币,有欧洲的金币,有巴西的,有西班牙银币,我感到好笑。"噢,你们这些废物!"我大声说,"你们现在还有什么用处呢?对我来说,现在你们的价值还不如粪土。那些刀子,一把就值你们这一大堆,我现在用不着你们,你们就留在老地方沉到海底里去吧,根本不值得救你们的命!"可是,再一想,我还是把钱拿走了。我一边把钱用一块帆布包好,一边考虑再做一只木排,正当我在做木排时,发现天空乌云密布,风也刮得紧起来。不到一刻钟,变成一股狂风从岸上刮来。我马上意识到,风从岸上刮来,做木排就毫无用处了,还不如乘潮水还未上涨,赶快离开,要不可能根本回不到岸上去了。于是我立刻跳下水,游过船和沙滩之间那片狭长的水湾。这一次,由于带的东西太重,再加上风势越刮越强劲,我游得很吃力。当潮水上涨不久后,海面上已刮起了风暴了。

我回到了自己搭的小帐篷,这算是我的家了。我躺下来睡觉。四周是我全部的财产,心中感到安稳踏实。大风整整刮了一夜。第二天早晨,我向外一望,那只船已无影无踪!这使我感到有点意外,但回头一想,我又觉得坦然了。我没有浪费时间,也没有偷懒,把船上一切有用的东西都搬了下来,即使再多留一点时间,船上也已没有多少有用的东西好拿了。

我现在不再去想那只船了,也不去想船上的东西了,只希望船破之后,有什么东西会飘上岸来。后来,船上确实也有一些零零碎碎的东西飘过来,但这些东西对我已没多大用处了。

当时,我的思想完全集中在如何保护自己,防备野人或野兽的袭击,假如岛上有野人或野兽的话。我想了许多办法,考虑造什么样的住所:是在地上掘个洞呢,还是搭个帐篷。最后,我决定两样都要。至于建成什么样子,怎样去做,不妨在这里详细谈谈。--------------------------------------

首先,我感到目前居住的地方不太合适。一则因离海太近,地势低湿,不大卫生;二则附近没有淡水。我得找一个比较卫生,比较方便的地方建造自己的住所。

我根据自己的情况,拟定了选择住所的几个条件:第一,必须如我上面所说的,要卫生,要有淡水;第二,要能遮荫;第三,要能避免猛兽或人类的突然袭击;第四,要能看到大海,万一上帝让什么船只经过,我就不至于失去脱险的机会,因为我始终存有一线希望,迟早能摆脱目前的困境。

我按上述条件去寻找一个合适的地点,发现在一个小山坡旁,有一片平地。小山靠平地的一边又陡又直,像一堵墙,不论人或野兽都无法从上面下来袭击我。在山岩上,有一块凹进去的地方,看上去好像是一个山洞的进口,但实际上里面并没有山洞。

在这山岩凹进去的地方,前面是一片平坦的草地,我决定就在此搭个帐篷。这块平地宽不过一百码,长不到二百码。

若把住所搭好,这块平坦的草地犹如一块草皮,从门前起伏连绵向外伸展形成一个缓坡,直至海边的那块低地。这儿正处小山西北偏北处,日间小山正好挡住阳光,当太阳转向西南方向照到这儿时,也就快要落下去了。

搭帐篷前,我先在石壁前面划了一个半圆形,半径约十码,直径有二十码。

沿这个半圆形,我插了两排结实的木桩;木桩打入泥土,仿佛像木橛子,大头朝下,高约五尺半,顶上都削得尖尖的。

两排木桩之间的距离不到六英寸。

然后,我用从船上截下来的那些缆索,沿着半圆形,一层一层地堆放在两排木桩之间,一直堆到顶上,再用一些两英尺半高的木桩插进去支撑住缆索,仿佛柱子上的横茶。这个篱笆十分结实牢固,不管是人还是野兽,都无法冲进来或攀越篱笆爬进来。这项工程,花了我不少时间和劳力,尤其是我得从树林里砍下粗枝做木桩,再运到草地上,又一一把它们打入泥土,这工作尤其费力费时。

至于住所的进出口,我没有在篱笆上做门,而是用一个短梯从篱笆顶上翻进来,进入里面后再收好梯子。这样,我四面都受保护,完全与外界隔绝,夜里就可高枕无忧了。不过,我后来发现,对我所担心的敌人,根本不必如此戒备森严。

我又花了极大的力气,把前面讲到的我的全部财产,全部粮食、弹药武器和补给品,一一搬到篱笆里面,或者可以说搬到这个堡垒里来。我又给自己搭了一个大帐篷用来防雨,因为这儿一年中有一个时期常下倾盆大雨。我把帐篷做成双层的;也就是说,里面一个小的,外面再罩一个大的,大帐篷上面又盖上一大块油布。那油布当然也是我在船上搜集帆布时一起拿下来的。

现在我不再睡在搬上岸的那张床上了,而是睡在一张吊床上,这吊床原是船上大副所有,质地很好。

我把粮食和一切可能受潮损坏的东西都搬进了帐篷。完成这工作后,就把篱笆的出入口堵起来。此后,我就像上面所说,用一个短梯翻越篱笆进出。

做完这些工作后,我又开始在岩壁上打洞,把挖出来的土石方从帐篷里运到外面,沿篱笆堆成一个平台,约一英尺高。这样,帐篷算是我的住房,房后的山洞就成了我的地窖。

这些工作既费时又费力,但总算一一完成了。现在,我再回头追述一下其他几件使我煞费苦心的事情。在我计划搭帐篷打岩洞的同时,突然乌云密布,暴雨如注,雷电交加。在电光一闪,霹雳突至时,一个思想也像闪电一样掠过我的头脑,使我比对闪电本身更吃惊:"哎哟,我的火药啊!"想到一个霹雳就会把我的火药全部炸毁时,我几乎完全绝望了。因为我不仅要靠火药自卫,还得靠其猎取食物为生。当时,我只想到火药,而没有想到火药一旦爆炸自己也就完了。假如真的火药爆炸,我自己都不知道死在谁的手里呢。

这场暴风雨使我心有余悸。因此,我把所有其他工作,包括搭帐篷、筑篱笆等都先丢在一边。等雨一停,我立刻着手做一些小袋子和匣子,把火药分成许许多多小包。这样,万一发生什么情况,也不致全部炸毁。我把一包包的火药分开贮藏起来,免得一包着火危及另一包。这件工作我足足费了两个星期的时间。火药大约有二百四十磅,我把它们分成一百多包。至于那桶受潮的火药,我倒并不担心会发生什么危险,所以我就把它放到新开的山洞里;我把这山洞戏称为我的厨房,其余的火药我都藏在石头缝里,以免受潮,并在储藏的地方小心地作上记号。

在包装和储藏火药的两星期中,我至少每天带枪出门一次。这样做可以达到三个目的:一来可以散散心;二来可以猎获点什么东西吃;三来也可以了解一下岛上的物产。第一次外出,我便发现岛上有不少山羊,使我十分满意。可我也发现这于我来说并非是件大好事。因为这些山羊胆小而又狡猾,而且跑得飞快,实在很难靠近他们。但我并不灰心,我相信总有办法打到一只的。不久我真的打死了一只。我首先发现了山羊经常出没之地,就采用打埋伏的办法来获取我的猎物。我注意到,如果我在山谷里,那怕它们在山岩上,它们也准会惊恐地逃窜;但若它们在山谷里吃草,而我站在山岩上,它们就不会注意到我。我想,这是由于小羊眼睛生的部位,使它们只能向下看,而不容易看到上面的东西吧。因此,我就先爬到山上,从上面打下去,往往很容易打中。我第一次开枪,打死了一只正在哺小羊的母羊,使我心里非常难过。母羊倒下后,小羊呆呆地站在它身旁;当我背起母羊往回走时,那小羊也跟着我一直走到围墙外面。于是我放下母羊,抱起小羊,进入木栅,一心想把它驯养大。可是小山羊就是不肯吃东西,没有办法,我只好把它也杀了吃了。这两只一大一小的山羊肉,供我吃了好长一段时间,因为我吃得很剩我要尽量节省粮食,尤其是面包。

住所建造好了,我就想到必须要有一个生火的地方,还得准备些柴来烧。至于我怎样做这件事,怎样扩大石洞,又怎样创造其他一些生活条件,我想以后在适当的时候再详谈。

现在想先略微谈谈自己,谈谈自己对生活的看法。在这些方面,你们可以想像,确实有不少感触可以谈的。

我感到自己前景暗淡。因为,我被凶猛的风暴刮到这荒岛上,远离原定的航线,远离人类正常的贸易航线有数百海里之遥。我想,这完全是出于天意,让我孤苦伶仃,在凄凉中了却余生了。想到这些,我眼泪不禁夺眶而出。有时我不禁犯疑,苍天为什么要这样作践自己所创造的生灵,害得他如此不幸,如此孤立无援,又如此沮丧寂寞呢!在这样的环境中,有什么理由要我们认为生活于我们是一种恩赐呢?

可是,每当我这样想的时候,立刻又有另一种思想出现在我的脑海里,并责怪我不应有上述这些念头。特别有一天,当我正带枪在海边漫步时,我思考着自己目前的处境。这时,理智从另一方面劝慰我:"的确,你目前形单影只,孑然一身,这是事实。可是,你不想想,你的那些同伴呢?他们到哪儿去了?你们一同上船时,不是有十一个人吗?那么,其他十个人到哪儿去了呢?为什么他们死了,唯独留下你一个人还活着呢?是在这孤岛上强呢,还是到他们那儿去好呢?"说到去他们那儿时,我用手指了指大海--"他们都已葬身大海了!真是,我怎么不想想祸福相倚和祸不单行的道理呢?"这时,我又想到,我目前所拥有的一切,殷实充裕,足以维持温饱。要是那只大船不从触礁的地方浮起来飘近海岸,并让我有时间从船上把一切有用的东西取下来,那我现在的处境又会怎样呢?要知道,像我现在的这种机遇,真是千载难逢的。假如我现在仍像我初上岸时那样一无所有;既没有任何生活必需品,也没有任何可以制造生活必需品的工具,那我现在的情况又会怎么样呢?"尤其是,"我大声对自己说,"如果我没有枪,没有弹药,没有制造东西的工具,没有衣服穿,没有床睡觉,没有帐篷住,甚至没有任何东西可以遮身,我又该怎么办呢?"可是现在,这些东西我都有,而且相当充足,即使以后弹药用尽了,不用枪我也能活下去。我相信,我这一生决不会受冻挨饿,因为我早就考虑到各种意外,考虑到将来的日子;不但考虑到弹药用尽之后的情况,甚至想到我将来体衰力竭之后的日子。

我得承认,在考虑这些问题时,并未想到火药会被雷电一下子炸毁的危险;因此雷电交加之际,忽然想到这个危险,着实使我惊恐万状。这件事我前面已叙述过了。

现在,我要开始过一种寂寞而又忧郁的生活了;这种生活也许在这世界上是前所未闻的。因此,我决定把我生活的情况从头至尾,按时间顺序一一记录下来。我估计,我是九月三十日踏上这可怕的海岛的;当时刚入秋分,太阳差不多正在我头顶上。所以,据我观察,我在北纬九度二十二分的地方。

上岛后约十一二天,我忽然想到,我没有书、笔和墨水,一定会忘记计算日期,甚至连安息日和工作日都会忘记。为了防止发生这种情况,我便用刀子在一根大柱子上用大写字母刻上以下一句句子:"我于一六五九年九月三十日在此上岸。"我把柱子做成一个大十字架,立在我第一次上岸的地方。

在这方柱的四边,我每天用刀刻一个凹口,每七天刻一个长一倍的凹口,每一月刻一个再长一倍的凹口。就这样,我就有了一个日历,可以计算日月了。

另外,我还应该提一下,我从船上搬下来的东西很多,有些东西价值不大,但用处不校可是前面我忘记交待了。我这里特别要提一下那些纸、笔、墨水;船长、大副、炮手和木匠的一些东西,三四个罗盘啦,一些观察和计算仪器啦,日规仪啦,望远镜啦,地图啦,以及航海书籍之类的东西。当时我不管有用没用,通通收拾起来带上岸。同时,我又找到了三本很好的《圣经》,是随我的英国货一起运来的。我上船时,把这几本书打在我的行李里面。此外,还有几本葡萄牙文的书籍,其中有两三本天主教祈祷书和几本别的书籍。所以这些书本我都小心地保存起来。我也不应忘记告诉读者,船上还有一条狗和两只猫。关于它们奇异的经历,我以后在适当的时候还要谈到。我把两只猫都带上岸;至于那条狗,我第一次上船搬东西时,它就泅水跟我上岸了,后来许多年中,它一直是我忠实的仆人。我什么东西也不缺,不必让它帮我猎取什么动物,也不能做我的同伴帮我干什么事,但求能与它说说话,可就连这一点它都办不到。我前面已提到,我找到了笔、墨水和纸,但我用得非常节剩你们将会看到,只要我有墨水,我可以把一切都如实记载下来,但一旦墨水用完,我就记不成了,因为我想不出有什么方法可以制造墨水。

这使我想到,尽管我已收集了这么多东西,我还缺少很多很多东西,墨水就是其中之一。其它的东西像挖土或搬土用的铲子、鹤嘴斧、铁锹,以及针线等等我都没有。至于内衣内裤之类,虽然缺乏,不久我也便习惯了。

由于缺乏适当的工具,一切工作进行得特别吃力。我花了差不多整整一年的时间,才把我的小木栅或围墙建筑好。就拿砍木桩而言,木桩很重,我只能竭尽全力选用我能搬得动的。我化很长时间在树林里把树砍下来削好,至于搬回住处就更费时间了。有时,我得化两天的时间把一根木桩砍下削好再搬回来,第三天再打入地里。作为打桩的工具,我起初找了一块很重的木头;后来才想到了一根起货用的铁棒;可是,就是用铁棒,打桩的工作还是非常艰苦、非常麻烦的。

其实,我有的是时间,工作麻烦一点又何必介意呢?何况筑完围墙,又有什么其他工作可做呢?至少我一时还没有想到要做其他什么事情,无非是在岛上各处走走,寻找食物而已。这是我每天多多少少都要做的一件事。

我开始认真地考虑自己所处的境遇和环境,并把每天的经历用笔详细地记录下来。我这样做,并不是为了留给后人看,因为我相信,在我之后,不会有多少人上这荒岛来;我这样做,只是为了抒发胸中的心事,每日可以浏览,聊以自慰。现在,我已开始振作起来,不再灰心丧气,因此,我尽量自勉自慰。我把当前的祸福利害一一加以比较,以使自己知足安命。我按照商业簿记的格式,分"借方""贷方",把我的幸运和不幸,好处和坏处公允地排列出来:祸与害:我流落荒岛,摆脱困境已属无望。

唯我独存,孤苦伶仃,困苦万状。

我与世隔绝,仿佛是一个隐士,一个流放者。

我没有衣服穿。

我无法抵御人类或野兽的袭击。

我没有人可以交谈,也没有人能解救我。

福与利:

唯我独生,船上同伴皆葬身海底。

在全体船员中,我独免一死;上帝既然以其神力救我一命,也必然会救我脱离目前的困境。

小岛虽荒凉,但我尚有粮食,不至饿死。

我地处热带,即使有衣服也穿不祝

在我所流落的孤岛上,没有我在非洲看到的那些猛兽。假如我在非洲沿岸覆舟,那又会怎样呢?

但上帝神奇地把船送到海岸附近,使我可以从船上取下许多有用的东西,让我终身受用不荆总而言之,从上述情况看,我目前的悲惨处境在世界上是绝无仅有的。但是,即使在这样的处境中,也祸福相济,有令人值得庆幸之处。我希望世上的人都能从我不幸的遭遇中取得经验和教训。那就是,在万般不幸之中,可以把祸福利害一一加以比较,找出可以聊以自慰的事情,然后可以归入账目的"贷方金额"这一项。

现在,我对自己的处境稍感宽慰,就不再对着海面望眼欲穿,希求有什么船只经过了。我说,我已把这些事丢在一边,开始筹划度日之计,并尽可能地改善自己的生活。

前面我已描述过自己的住所。那是一个搭在山岩下的帐篷,四周用木桩和缆索做成坚固的木栅环绕着。现在,我可以把木栅叫做围墙了,因为我在木栅外面用草皮堆成了一道两英尺来厚的墙,并在大约一年半的时间里,在围墙和岩壁之间搭了一些屋椽,上面盖些树枝或其他可以弄到的东西用来挡雨。因为,我发现,一年之中总有一段时间,大雨如注。

前面我也说过,我把一切东西都搬进了这个围墙,搬进了我在帐篷后面打的山洞。现在我必须补充说一下,就是那些东西起初都杂乱无章地堆在那里,以致占满了住所,弄得我连转身的余地都没有。于是我开始扩大和挖深山洞。好在岩石质地是一种很松的沙石,很容易挖,当我觉得围墙已加固得足以防御猛兽的袭击时,我便向岩壁右边挖去,然后再转向右面,直至把岩壁挖穿,通到围墙外面,做成了一个可供出入的门。

这样,我不但有了一个出入口,成了我帐篷和贮藏室的后门,而且有了更多的地方贮藏我的财富。

现在,我开始着手制造日常生活应用的一些必需家具了,譬如说椅子和桌子,没有这两样家具,我连世上一些最起码的生活乐趣都无法享受。没有桌子,我写字吃饭无以为凭,其他不少事也无法做,生活就毫无乐趣可言。

于是,我就开始工作。说到这里,我必须先说明一下,推理乃是数学之本质和原理,因此,如果我们能对一切事物都加以分析比较,精思明断,则人人都可掌握任何工艺。我一生从未使用过任何工具,但久而久之,以我的劳动、勤勉和发明设计的才能,我终于发现,我什么东西都能做,只要有适当的工具。然而,尽管我没有工具,也制造了许多东西,有些东西我制造时,仅用一把手斧和一把斧头。我想没有人会用我的方法制造东西,也没有人会像我这样付出无穷的劳力。

譬如说,为了做块木板,我先砍倒一棵树,把树横放在我面前,再用斧头把两面削平,削成一块板的模样,然后再用手斧刮光。确实,用这种方法,一棵树只能做一块木板,但这是没有办法的办法,我唯有用耐心才能完成,只有化费大量的时间和劳力才能做一块板;反正我的时间和劳动力都已不值钱了,怎么用都无所谓。

上面讲了,我先给自己做了一张桌子和一把椅子,这些是用我从船上运回来的几块短木板做材料制成的;后来,我用上面提到的办法,做了一些木板,沿着山洞的岸壁搭了几层一英尺半宽的大木架,把工具,钉子和铁器等东西分门别类地放在上面,以便取用。我又在墙上钉了许多小木钉,用来挂枪和其他可以挂的东西。

假如有人看到我的山洞,一定会以为是一个军火库,里面枪支弹药应有尽有。一应物品,安置得井然有序,取用方便。我看到样样东西都放得井井有条,而且收藏丰富,心里感到无限的宽慰。

现在,我开始记日记了,把每天做的事都记下来。在这之前,我天天匆匆忙忙,辛苦劳累,且心绪不宁。即使记日记,也必定索然无味。例如,我在日记中一定会这样写:"九月三十日,我没被淹死,逃上岸来,吐掉了灌进胃里的大量海水,略略苏醒了过来。这时,我非但不感谢上帝的救命之恩,反而在岸上胡乱狂奔,又是扭手,又是打自己的头和脸,大叫大嚷自己的不幸,不断地叫嚷着'我完了,我完了!'直至自己精疲力尽,才不得不倒在地上休息,可又不敢入睡,唯恐被野兽吃掉。"几天之后,甚至在我把船上可以搬动的东西都运上岸之后,我还是每天爬到小山顶上,呆呆地望着海面,希望能看到船只经过。妄想过甚,有时仿佛看到极远处有一片帆影,于是欣喜若狂,以为有了希望;这时,我望眼欲穿,帆影却消失得无影无踪,我便一屁股坐在地上,像小孩似地大哭起来。

这种愚蠢的行为,反而增加了我的烦恼。

这个心烦意乱的阶段多少总算过去了,我把住所和一切家什也都安置妥当。后来又做好了桌子和椅子,样样东西安排得井井有条,我便开始记日记了。现在,我把全部日记抄在下面(有些前面提到过的事不得不重复一下)。但后来墨水用光了,我也不得不中止日记了。

 

第五章  造房子 - 日记

一六五九年九月三十日   我,可怜而不幸的鲁滨孙·克罗索,在一场可怕的大风暴中,在大海中沉船遇难,流落到这个荒凉的孤岛上。我且把此岛称之为"绝望岛"吧。同船伙伴皆葬身鱼腹,我本人却九死一生。

整整一天,我为自己凄凉的境遇悲痛欲绝。我没有食物,没有房屋,没有衣服,没有武器,也没有地方可逃,没有获救的希望,只有死路一条,不是被野兽吞嚼,被野人饱腹,就是因缺少食物而活活饿死。夜幕降临,因怕被野兽吃掉,我睡在一棵树上。虽然整夜下雨,我却睡得很香。

十月一日清晨醒来,只见那只大船随涨潮已浮起,并冲到了离岸很近的地方。这大大出于我意料。使我感到快慰的是,大船依然直挺挺地停在那儿,没有被海浪打得粉碎。我想,待风停浪息之后,可以上去弄些食物和日用品来救急。但又想到那些失散了的伙伴,这使我倍感悲伤。我想,要是我们当时都留在大船上,也许能保住大船,至少也不至于被淹死。假如伙伴们不死,我们可以用大船残余部分的木料,造一条小船,我们可乘上小船划到别处去。这一天,大部分的时间我为这些念头所困扰。后来,看到船里没进多少水,我便走到离船最近的沙滩,泅水上了船。这一天雨还是下个不停,但没有一点风。

从十月一日至二十四日,我连日上船,把我所能搬动的东西通通搬了下来,趁涨潮时用木排运上岸。这几天雨水很多,有时也时停时续。看来,这儿当前正是雨季。

十月二十日木排翻倒,上面的货物也都翻到水里去了,但木排翻倒的地方水很浅,那些东西又都很重,所以没有被冲走。一等退潮,我还是捞回了不少东西。

十月二十五日雨下了一天一夜,还夹着阵阵大风。风越刮越凶,最后竟把大船打得粉碎。退潮时可以看到大船的碎片,但大船已不复存在。这一整天,我把从船上搬回来的东西安置好并覆盖起来,以免给雨水淋坏。

十月二十六日我在岸上跑了差不多一整天,想寻找一个合适的地方做住所,我最担心的是安全问题,住地必须能防御野兽或野人在夜间对我进行突然袭击。傍晚,我终于在一个山岩下找到了合适的地方。我划了一个半圆形作为构筑住所的地点,并决定沿着那个半圆形安上两层木桩,中间盘上缆索,外面再加上草皮,筑成一个坚固的防御工事,像围墙或堡垒之类的建筑物。

二十六日至三十日我埋头苦干,把全部货物搬到新的住地,虽然有时大雨倾盆。

三十一日早晨我带枪深入孤岛腹地,一则为了找点吃的,一则为了查看一下小岛环境。我打死了一只母山羊,她的一只小羊跟着我回家,后来我把它也杀了,因为它不肯吃食。

十一月一日我在小山下搭起了一个帐篷,我尽可能把帐篷搭大些,里面再打上几根木桩用来挂吊床,我第一夜在帐篷里睡觉。

十一月二日我把所有的箱子、木板,以及做木排用的木料,沿着半圆形内侧堆成一个临时性的围墙,作为我的防御工事。

十一月三日我带枪外出,打死两只野鸭似的飞禽,肉很好吃,下午开始做桌子。

十一月四日早晨,开始计划时间的安排。规定了工作的时间,带枪外出的时间,睡眠的时间以及消遣的时间。我的计划是这样的:每天早晨,如果不下雨,就带枪出去跑上二三小时,回来后再工作到十一点左右;然后,就有什么吃什么;十二点至二点为午睡时间,因为这儿天炎热异常;傍晚再开始工作。今天和明天的全部工作时间,我都用来做桌子。目前我还是个拙劣的工匠,做一样东西要化很多时间。但不久我就成了一个熟练工了。什么事做多了就熟能生巧,另一方面也是迫于需要。我相信,这在其他任何人也是办得到的。

十一月五日今天我带枪外出,并且把狗也带上了。打死了一只野猫,其毛皮柔软,但肉却不能吃。我每打死什么动物,都剥下毛皮保存起来。从海边回来时,看到各种不同的水鸟,我都叫不上名字。还看到两三只海豹,使我大吃一惊。我开始看到它们时,一时还不知道究竟是什么动物。后来它们游向了大海。这一次,它们从我眼皮底下逃掉了。

十一月六日早晨外出回来后就继续做桌子,最后终于完成了,但样子很难看,我自己都不满意。不久,我又设法把桌子改进了一下。

十一月七日天气开始晴朗起来。七日,八日,九日,十日以及十二日的一部分时间(十一日是礼拜日),我都用来做一把椅子,费了好大的劲,才勉强做成椅子的样子,连差强人意都谈不上。在做的过程中,我做了再拆,拆了再做,折腾了好几次。

附记:我不久就不再做礼拜了。因为我忘记在木桩上刻凹痕了,因而也就记不起哪天是哪天了。

十一月十三日今天下雨,令人精神为之一爽。天气也凉快多了,但大雨伴随着闪电雷鸣,吓得我半死,万分惊恐,因为我担心火药会被雷电击中而炸毁。因此,雷雨一停,我就着手把火药分成许许多多小包,以免不测。

十一月十四日,十五日,十六日。这三天,我做了许多小方匣,每个匣子大约可以装一两磅火药。我把火药装入匣内,并分开小心安全地贮藏好。其中有一天,我打到了一只大鸟,肉很好吃,但我不知道是什么鸟。

十一月十七日今天开始,我在帐篷后的岩壁上开始挖洞,以扩大我住所的空间,使生活更方便些。

附记:要挖洞,我最需要的是三样工具:一把鹤嘴锄,一把铲子和一辆手推车或一只箩筐。我就先不挖洞,而是考虑制造一些必不可少的工具。我用起货钩代替鹤嘴锄,还凑合用,只是重了点。此外,还需要一把铲子,这是挖土的重要工具,没有铲子,什么事也别想做,可我不知道怎样才能做把铲子。

十一月十八日第二天,我去树林里搜寻,发现一种树,像巴西的"铁树",因为这种树的木质特别坚硬。我费了好大的劲才砍下了一块,几乎把我的斧头都砍坏了。又费了不少力气,才把木块带回住所,因为这种木头实在太重了。

这种木料确实非常坚硬,可是我别无他法,所以,我化了好大的功夫才做成一把铲子。我慢慢把木块削成铲子的形状,铲柄完全像英国铲子一样,只是铲头没有包上铁,所以没有正式的铁铲那么耐用。不过,必要时用一下也还能勉强对付。我想,世界上没有一把铲子是做成这个样子的,也决不会化这么长的时间才做成一把铲子。

虽然有了鹤嘴锄和铲子,但工具还是不够,我还缺少一只箩筐或一辆手推车。箩筐我没有办法做,因为我没有像编藤皮用的细软的枝条,至少现在我还没有找到。至于手推车,我想除了轮子外,其他都可以做出来。可做轮子却不那么容易,我简直不知从何处着手。此外,我也无法做一个铁的轮子轴心,使轮子能转动。因此,我决定放弃做轮子的念头,而做一个灰斗似的东西--就是小工替泥水匠运泥灰用的灰斗,这样就可把石洞里挖出来的泥土运出来。

这工作不像做铲子那么难。但制造这些工具--灰斗和铲子,以及试图做手推车最终又不得不放弃,一共化费了整整四天时间,当然不包括每天早晨带枪外出的时间。可以说,我几乎没有一天不出去,也几乎没有一天不带回些猎物作吃食。

十一月二十三日因为做工具,其他工作都搁了下来,等这些工具制成,我又继续做所耽搁了的工作。只要有精力和时间,我每天都工作,化了整整十八天的功夫扩大和加深了岩洞;洞室一拓宽,存放东西就更方便了。

附记:这几天,我的工作主要是扩大洞室。这样,这个山洞成了我的贮藏室和军火库,也是我的厨房、餐室和地窖。

我一般仍睡在帐篷里,除非在雨季,雨下得太大,帐篷漏雨,我才睡到洞室里。所以,我后来把围墙里的所有地方,通通用长木条搭成屋椽的样子,架在岩石上,再在上面铺些草和大树叶,做成一个茅屋的样子。

十二月十日我本以为挖洞的工程已大功告成,可突然发生了塌方。也许我把洞挖得太大了,大量的泥土从顶上和一旁的岩壁上塌下来,落下的泥土之多,简直把我吓坏了。我这般惊恐,当然不是没有理由的。要是塌方时我正在洞内,那我肯定用不着掘墓人了。这次灾祸一发生,我又有许多工作要做了。我不但要把落下来的松土运出去,还安装了天花板,下面用柱子支撑起来,免得再出现塌方的灾难。

十二月十一日今天我按昨天的计划动手工作,用两根柱子作为支撑,每根柱子上交叉搭上两块木板撑住洞顶。这项工作第二天就完成了。接着我支起了更多的柱子和木板,花了大约一星期的时间把洞顶加固。洞内一行行直立的柱子,把洞室隔成了好几间。

十二月十七日今天至二十日,我在洞里装了许多木架,又在柱子上敲了许多钉子,把那些可以挂起来的东西都挂起来。现在,我的住所看上去有点秩序了。

十二月二十日我把所有的东西都搬进洞里,并开始布置自己的住所。我用木板搭了个碗架似的架子,好摆吃的东西。但木板已经越来越少了。另外,我又做了一张桌子。

十二月二十四日整夜整日大雨倾盆,没有出门。

十二月二十五日整日下雨。

十二月二十六日无雨,天气凉爽多了,人也感到爽快多了。

十二月二十七日打死了一只小山羊,又把另一只小山羊的一条腿打瘸了。我抓住了瘸腿的小山羊,用绳子牵回家。

到家后我把山羊的断腿绑了起来,还上了夹板。

附记:在我精心照料下,受伤的小山羊活下来了,腿也长好了,而且长得很结实。由于我长期抚养,小山羊渐渐驯服起来,整日在我住所门前的草地上吃草,不肯离开。这诱发了我一个念头:我可以饲养一些易于驯服的动物,将来一旦弹药用完也不愁没有东西吃。

十二月二十八日,二十九,三十日酷热无风。整天在家,到傍晚才外出寻食。整日在家里整理东西。

一月一日天气仍然很热。我早晚带枪各外出一次,中午午睡。傍晚我深入孤岛中心的山谷里,发现许多野山羊,但极易受惊,难以捕捉。我决定带狗来试试是否能猎取几只。

一月二日照着昨天的想法,我今天带狗外出,叫它去追捕那些山羊;可是,我想错了,山羊不仅不逃,反而一起面对我的狗奋起反抗。狗也知道危险,不敢接近群羊。

一月三日我动手修筑篱笆或围墙,因为我一直担心受到攻击。我要把围墙筑得又厚又坚固。

附记:关于围墙,我前面已交待过了,在日记中,就不再重复已经说过的话了。这里只提一下:从一月三日至四月十四日,我一直在修筑这座围墙。最后终于完成了,并尽可能做得完满。围墙呈半圆形,从岩壁的一边,围向另一边,两处相距约八码,围墙全长仅二十四码,岩洞的门正好处于围墙中部后面。

在这段时间里,我努力工作,尽管雨水耽搁了我许多天,甚至好几个星期。我觉得,围墙不做好,我住在里面就没有安全感。我做的每件工作所花的劳动,简直难以令人置信。尤其是那些木桩,要把木桩从树林里搬回来,又要打进土里,实在非常吃力,因为我把木桩做得太大了,而实际上并不需要那么大。

墙筑好后,又在墙外堆了一层草皮泥,堆得和墙一般高。

这样,我想,即使有人到岛上来,也不一定看得出里面有人祝我的这一做法是非常明智的。后来事实证明了这一点。

在此期间,只要雨不大,我总要到树林里去寻找野味,并常有一些新的发现,可以改善我的生活。尤其是我发现了一种野鸽,它们不像斑尾林鸽那样在树上作窠,而像家鸽一样在石穴里作窝。我抓了几只小鸽子,想把它们驯养大。养倒是养大了,可一大就飞走了。想来也许我没有经常给它们喂食;事实上,我也没什么东西可喂它们。然而,我经常找到它们的窝,就捉些小鸽子回来,这种鸽子的肉非常好吃。

在料理家务的过程中,我发现还缺少许多许多东西;有些东西根本没办法制造,事实也确实如此。壁如,我无法制造木桶,因为根本无法把桶箍起来。前面我曾提到,我有一两只小桶;可是,我花了好几个星期的功夫还是做不出一只新桶来。我无法把桶底安上去,也无法把那些薄板拼合得不漏水。最后,我只好放弃了做桶的念头。

其次,我无法制造蜡烛,所以一到天黑就只得上床睡觉。

在这儿一般七点左右天就黑下来了。我记得我曾有过一大块蜜蜡,那是我从萨累的海盗船长手里逃到非洲沿岸的航程中做蜡烛用的,现在早已没有了。我唯一的补救办法是:每当我杀山羊时,把羊油留下来。我用泥土做成一个小盘子,经太阳暴晒成了一个小泥盘,然后把羊油放在泥盘里,再弄松麻绳后取下一些麻絮做灯心。这样总算做成了一盏灯,虽然光线没有蜡烛明亮和稳定,但也至少给了我一点光明。

在我做这些事的时候,我偶尔翻到了一个小布袋。我上面已提到过,这布袋里装了一些谷类,是用来喂家禽的,而不是为这次航行供船员食用的。这袋谷子可能是上次从里斯本出发时带上船的吧。袋里剩下的一点谷类早已被老鼠吃光了,只留下一些尘土和谷壳。因为我很需要这个布袋,就把袋里的尘土和谷壳抖在岩石下的围墙边。当时,想必是我要用这布袋来装火药吧,因为,我记得我给闪电雷鸣吓坏了,急于要把火药分开包装好。

我扔掉这些东西,正是上面提到的那场大雨之前不久的事。扔掉后也就完了,再也没有想起这件事情。大约一个月之后,我发现地上长出了绿色的茎干。起初我以为那只是自己以前没有注意到的某种植物罢了。但不久以后,我看到长出了十一二个穗头,与欧洲的大麦,甚至与英国的大麦一模一样,这使我十分惊讶。

我又惊愕,又困惑,心里的混乱难以用笔墨形容。我这个人不信教,从不以宗教诫律约束自己的行为,认为一切出于偶然,或简单地归之于天意,从不去追问造物主的意愿及其支配世间万物的原则。但当我看到,尽管这儿气候不宜种谷类,却长出了大麦;何况我对这些大麦是怎么长出来的一无所知,自然吃惊不校于是我想到,这只能是上帝显示的奇迹--没有人播种,居然能长出庄稼来。我还想到,这是上帝为了能让我在这荒无人烟的孤岛上活下去才这么做的。

想到这里,我颇为动情,禁不住流下了眼泪。我开始为自己的命运庆幸,这种世间少有的奇事,竟会在我身上发生。

尤其令我感到不可思议的是,在大麦茎干的旁边,沿着岩壁,稀稀落落长出了几枝其他绿色的茎干,显然是稻茎;我认得出那是稻子,因为我在非洲上岸时曾见过这种庄稼。

当时,我不仅认为这些谷类都是老天为了让我活命而赐给我的,并且还相信岛上其他地方一定还有。于是,我在岛上搜遍了我曾经到过的地方,每个角落,每块岩石边我都查看了一遍,想找到麦穗和稻秆,可是,再也找不到了。最后,我终于想起,我曾经有一只放(又鸟)饲料的袋子,我把里面剩下的谷壳抖到了岩壁下。这一想,我惊异的心情一扫而光。老实说,我认为这一切都是极其平常的事,所以我对上帝的感恩之情也随之减退了。然而,对发生这样的奇迹,对意料之外的天意,我还是应该感恩戴德的。老鼠吃掉了绝大部分谷粒,而仅存的十几颗竟然没有坏掉,仿佛从天上掉下来似的,发生这样的奇迹难道不是天意又是什么呢?再说,我把这十几颗谷粒不扔在其他地方,恰恰扔在岩壁下,因而遮住了太阳,使其很快长了出来;如果丢在别处,肯定早就给太阳晒死了,这难道不是天意吗?

到了大麦成熟的季节,大约是六月底,我小心地把麦穗收藏起来,一颗麦粒也舍不得丢失。我要用这些收获的麦粒作种子重新播种一次,希望将来收获多了,可以用来做面包吃。后来,一直到第四年,我才吃到一点点自己种的粮食,而且也只能吃得非常节剩这些都是后事,我以后自会交待。第一次播种,由于季节不对头,我把全部种子都损失了。因为我正好在旱季来临前播下去,结果种子根本发不了芽,即使长出来了,也长不好。这些都是后话。

除了大麦,另外还有二三十枝稻秆,我同样小心翼翼地把稻谷收藏起来,目的也是为了能再次播种,好自己做面包吃,或干脆煮来吃,因为后来我发现不必老是用烘烤的办法,放在水里煮一下也能吃,当然后来我也烤着吃。现在,再回到我的日记上来吧。

这三四个月,我工作非常努力,修筑好了围墙。到四月十四日,完成了封闭围墙的工作,因为我原来就计划不用门进出,而是用一架梯子越墙而过。这样外来的人就看不出里面是住人的地方。

四月十六日我做好了梯子。我用梯子爬上墙头,再收起来放到围墙的内侧爬下去。围墙是全封闭的;墙内我有足够的活动空间,墙外的人则无法进入墙内,除非也越墙而入。

完成围墙后的第二天,我几乎一下子前功尽弃,而且差点送命。事情是这样的:正当我在帐篷后面的山洞口忙着干活时,突然发生了一件可怕的事情,把我吓得魂不附体。山洞顶上突然倒塌下大量的泥土和石块,从岩壁上也有泥土和石头滚下来,把我竖在洞里的两根柱子一下子都压断了,发出了可怕的爆裂声,我惊慌失措,全不知道究竟发生了什么事,以为只不过像上回那样发生了塌方,洞顶有一部分塌了下来。我怕被土石埋在底下,立即跑向梯子。后来觉得在墙内还不安全,怕山上滚下来的石块打着我,我爬到了围墙外面。等到我下了梯子站到平地上,我才明白发生了可怕的地震。我所站的地方在八分钟内连续摇动了三次。这三次震动,其强烈程度,足以把地面上最坚固的建筑物震倒。离我大约半英里之外靠近海边的一座小山的岩顶,被震得崩裂下来,那山崩地裂的巨响,把我吓得半死,我平生从未听到过这么可怕的声响。这时,大海汹涌震荡,我想海底下一定比岛上震动得更激烈。

我以前从未碰到过地震,也没有听到经历过地震的人谈起过,所以我一时吓得目瞪口呆,魂飞魄散。当时,地动山摇,胃里直想吐,就像晕船一样;而那山石崩裂发出震耳欲聋的巨响,把我从呆若木(又鸟)的状态中惊醒过来,我感到胆战心惊。小山若倒下来,压在帐篷上和全部家用物品上,一下子就会把一切都埋起来。一想到这里,我心里就凉了半截。

第三次震动过后,过了好久,大地不再晃动了,我胆子才渐渐大起来。但我还是不敢爬进墙去,生怕被活埋。我只是呆呆地坐在地上,垂头丧气,闷闷不乐,不知如何才好。在惊恐中,我从未认真地想到上帝,只是像一般人那样有口无心地叫着"上帝啊,发发慈悲吧!"地震一过,连这种叫唤声也没有了。

我正这么呆坐在地上时,忽见阴云四布,好像马上要下雨了。不久,风势渐平,不到半小时,就刮起了可怕的飓风。

顷刻之间,海面上波涛汹涌,惊涛拍岸,浪花四溅,陆地上大树连根拔起。真是一场可怕的大风暴。风暴刮了大约三小时,就开始减退了;又过了两小时,风静了,却下起了滂沱大雨。

在此期间,我一直呆坐在地上,心中既惊恐又苦闷。后来,我突然想到,这场暴风雨是地震之后发生的。看来地震已经过去,我可以冒险回到我的洞室里去了。这样一想,精神再次振作起来,加上大雨也逼得我走投无路,只好爬过围墙,坐到帐篷里去。但大雨倾盆而下,几乎要把帐篷都压塌,我就只好躲到山洞里去,心里却始终惶恐不安,唯恐山顶塌下来把我压死。

这场暴雨逼使我去做一件新的工作。这就是在围墙脚下开一个洞,像一条排水沟,这样就可把水放出去,以免把山洞淹没。在山洞里坐了一会儿,地震再也没有发生,我才稍稍镇静下来。这时我感到十分需要壮壮胆,就走到贮藏室里,倒了一小杯甘蔗酒喝。我喝甘蔗酒一向很节省,因为我知道,喝完后就没有了。

大雨下了整整一夜,第二天又下了大半天,因此我整天不能出门。现在,我心里平静多了,就考虑起今后的生活。我的结论是,既然岛上经常会发生地震,我就不能老住在山洞里。我得考虑在开阔的平地上造一间小茅屋,四面像这里一样围上一道墙,以防野兽或野人的袭击。如果我在这里住下去,迟早会被活埋的。

想到这里,我决定要把帐篷从原来的地方搬开。现在的帐篷正好搭在小山的悬崖下面。如果再发生地震,那悬崖塌下来必定砸倒帐篷。于是我花了两天的时间,即四月十九日和二十日,来计划新的住址以及搬家的方法。

我唯恐被活埋,整夜不得安睡。但想到睡在外面,四周毫无遮挡,心里又同样害怕。而当我环顾四周,看到一切应用物品都安置得井井有条,自己的住地又隐蔽又安全,又极不愿意搬家了。

同时,我也想到,建个新家耗费时日,目前还不得不冒险住在这里。以后,等我建造好一个新的营地,并也像这儿一样保护起来,才能再搬过去。这样决定之后,我心里安定多了,并决定以最快的速度,用木桩和缆索之类的材料照这儿的样子筑一道围墙,再把帐篷搭在围墙里。但在新的营地建造好之前,我还得冒险住在原地。这是四月二十一日的事。

四月二十二日,今天早上,我开始考虑实施我搬家的计划,但却无法解决工具问题。我有三把大斧和许多小斧(我们带了许多小斧,是准备与非洲土人做交易用的),但由于经常用来砍削多节的硬木头,弄得都是缺口,一点也不快了。磨刀砂轮倒是有一个,但我却无法转动磨轮来磨工具。为了设法使磨轮转动,我煞费苦心,犹如政治家思考国家大事,也像法官决定一个人的生死命运。最后,我想出办法,用一根绳子套在一个轮子上,用脚转动轮子,两手就可腾出来磨工具了。

附记:在英国,我从未见过磨刀的工具,即使见过,自己也没注意过这种东西的样子,尽管在英国这种磨刀工具是到处可见的。此外,我的磨轮又大又笨重。我花了整整一个星期,才把这个磨刀机器做好。

四月二十八日、二十九日整整两天,我忙着磨工具。转动磨轮的机器效果不错。

四月三十日我发现食物大大减少了,就仔细检查了一下,决定减为每天只吃一块饼干,这使我心里非常忧虑。

五月一日早晨,我向海面望去,只见潮水已经退了。一个看上去像桶一样的大东西搁浅在岸边。我走过去一看,原来是一只小木桶,另外还有几艘破船的残骸;这些都是被飓风刮到岸上来的。再看看那只破船,只见比先前更高出水面。

我察看了一下冲上岸边的木桶,发现原来是一桶火药,但火药已浸水,结得像石头一样硬。不过,我还是暂时把它滚到岸上。然后踏上沙滩,尽量走近那破船,希望能再弄到点什么东西。

 

       



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