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thinks, because all such things are despatched, that the improvement of it, as well to the diversion as to the instruction of the reader, will be the same. And as such, he thinks,

without farther compliment to the world, he does them a 20 great service in the publication.

Crusoe's Situation 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 after5 ward 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, 10 Crusoe, and so my companions always called me.

I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenantcolonel 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; 15 what became of my second brother I never knew, any more

than my father and mother did know what was become of


Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling 20 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 goes, 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 25 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 propension of nature tending directly to the life of misery which was to

befall me.

Crusoe's Landing on the Desert Island

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 grâce. In a word, it took us in such a fury, that it overset the boat at once; and separating us, as well from the boat as 5 from one another, gave us not time hardly 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 sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so as to 10 draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on toward 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 15 nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavored 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 20 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 25 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 30 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 my35 self 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, 40 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 water went from me, and then took to my heels and 45 ran with what strength I had farther 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 forwards as before, the

shore being very flat. 50 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 a rock, and that with such force, as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless,

as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and 55 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, 60 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 near 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 65 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 70 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,

I may say, out of the very grave; and I do not wonder 75 now at that custom, viz., that 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 sur- 80 prise 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, wrapt up in the contemplation 85 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 90 cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.

I cast my eyes 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 ?

95 How Crusoe Baked Bread

The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and how I should make bread when I came to have corn; for, first, I had no yeast. As to that part, as there was no supplying the want, so I did not concern myself much about 5 it; but for an oven I was indeed in great pain. At length I found out an experiment for that also, which was this: I made some earthen vessels very broad, but not deep, that is to say, about two feet diameter, and not above nine

inches deep; these I burned in the fire, as I had done the 10 other, and laid them by; and when I wanted to bake, I

made a great fire upon my hearth, which I had paved with some square tiles, of my own making and burning also; but I should not call them square.

When the firewood was burned pretty much into embers, 15 or live coals, I drew them forward upon this hearth, so as

to cover it all over, and there I let them lie till the hearth was very hot; then sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf, or loaves, and whelming down the earthen

pot upon them, drew the embers all round the outside of 20 the pot, to keep in and add to the heat. And thus, as well

as in the best oven in the world, I baked my barley-loaves, and became, in little time, a mere pastry-cook into the bargain; for I made myself several cakes of the rice, and pud

dings; indeed, I made no pies, neither had I anything to 25 put into them, supposing I had, except the flesh either of

fowls or goats.


He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with straight, strong limbs, not too large, tall, and wellshaped, and, as I reckon, about twenty-six years of age. He had a very good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect,

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