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Life And Adventures Of Peter Wilkins, V1 by Robert Paltock


LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF PETER WILKINS., VOL. I.

BY ROBERT PALTOCK, OF CLEMENT'S INN.

WITH A PREFACE BY A. H. BULLEN, Editor Of “The Works Of John Day,” “A Collection Of Old English Plays,” Etc.

1884.

 

PREFACE.

In one of those bright racy essays at which modern dulness delights to sneer, Hazlitt discussed the question whether the desire of posthumous fame is a legitimate aspiration; and the conclusion at which he arrived was that there is “something of egotism and even of pedantry in this sentiment.” It is a true saying in literature as in morality that “he that seeketh his life shall lose it.” The world cares most for those who have cared least for the world's applause. A nameless minstrel of the North Country sings a ballad that shall stir men's hearts from age to age with haunting melody; Southey, toiling at his epics, is excluded from Parnassus. Some there are who have knocked at the door of the Temple of Fame, and have been admitted at once and for ever. When Thucydides announced that he intended his history to be a “possession for all time,” there was no mistaking the tone of authority. But to be enthroned in state, to receive the homage of the admiring multitude, and then to be rejected as a pretender,—that is indeed a sorry fate, and one that may well make us pause before envying literary despots their titles. The more closely a writer shrouds himself from view, the more eager are his readers to get a sight of him. The loss of an arm or a leg would be a slight price for a genuine student to pay if only he could discover one new fact about Shakespeare's history. I will not attempt to impose on the reader's credulity by professing myself eager to acquire information about the author of “Peter Wilkins” at such a sacrifice; but it would have been a sincere pleasure to me if I could have brought to light some particulars about one whose personality must have possessed a more than ordinary charm. The delightful voyage imaginaire here presented to the reader was first published in 1751.*

     * Some copies are said to be dated 1750. It appears on the
     list of new books announced in the “Gentleman's Magazine”
     for November 1750.

An edition appeared immediately afterwards at Dublin; so the book must have had some sale. The introduction and the dedication to the Countess of Northumberland (to whom it will be remembered Percy dedicated his “Reliques” and Goldsmith the first printed copy of his “Edwin and Angelina") are signed with the initials “R. P.;” and for many years the author's full name was unknown. In 1835, Nicol, the printer, sold by auction a number of books and manuscripts in his possession, which had once belonged to Dodsley, the publisher; and when these were being catalogued, the original agreement * for the sale of the MS. of “Peter Wilkins” was brought to light.

     * It is now in the collection, shortly to be dispersed, of
     the late Mr. James Crossley of Manchester, a gentleman who
     was esteemed throughout his long life not less for unfailing
     courtesy than for rare scholarship. Mr. Crossley promised to
     search for the document and send me a transcript of it; but
     his kind intention was frustrated by his death. Paltock's
     name is sometimes written Pultock or Poltock. There is no
     ground for identifying the author of “Peter Wilkins” with
     the “R. P., Gent.,” who published in 1751 “Memoirs of the
     Life of Parnese, a Spanish Lady, Translated from the Spanish
     MS.”

From this document it appeared that the author was Robert Paltock of Clement's Inn, and that he received for the copyright 20L., twelve copies of the book, and “the cuts of the first impression"(proof impressions of the illustrations). The writer's name shows him to have been, like his hero, of Cornish origin; but the authors of the admirable and exhaustive “Bibliotheca Cornubiensis” could discover nothing about him beyond the fact that he was not a bencher of Clement's Inn. That Paltock should have chosen Clement's Inn as a place of residence is not surprising. It still keeps something of its pristine repose. The sun-dial is still supported by the negro; the grass has not lost its verdure, and on August evenings the plane-trees' leaves glint golden in the sun. One may still hear the chimes at midnight as Falstaff and Justice Shallow heard them of old. Here, where only a muffled murmur comes from the work-a-day world, a man in the last century might have dreamed away his life, lonely as Peter Wilkins on the island. One can imagine the amiable recluse composing his homely romance amid such surroundings. Perhaps it was the one labour of his life. He may have come to the Inn originally with the aspiration of making fame and money; and then the spirit of cloistered calm turned him from such vulgar paths, and instead of losing his fine feelings and swelling the ranks of the plutocrats, he gave us a charming romance for our fireside. With the literary men of his day he seems to have had no intercourse. Not a single mention of him is to be found among his contemporaries, and we may be sure that he cut no brilliant figure at the club-houses. No chorus of reviewers chimed the praises of “Peter Wilkins.” So far as I can discover, the “Monthly Review” was the only journal in which the book was noticed, and such criticism as the following can hardly be termed laudatory:—“Here is a very strange performance indeed. It seems to be the illegitimate offspring of no very natural conjunction, like 'Gulliver's Travels' and 'Robinson Crusoe;' but much inferior to the manner of these two performances as to entertainment or utility. It has all that is impossible in the one or impossible in the other, without the wit and spirit of the first, or the just strokes of nature and useful lessons of morality in the second. However, if the invention of wings for mankind to fly with is sufficient amends for all the dulness and unmeaning extravagance of the author, we are willing to allow that his book has some merit, and that he deserves some encouragement at least as an able mechanic, if not as a good author.” But the book was not forgotten. A new edition appeared in 1783, and again in the following year. It was included in Weber's “Popular Romances,” 1812, and published separately, with some charming plates by Stothard, in 1816. Within the last fifty years it has been frequently issued, entire or mutilated, in a popular form. A drama founded on the romance was acted at Covent Garden on April 16, 1827; and more than once of late years “Peter Wilkins” has afforded material for pantomimes. In 1763 a French translation (by Philippe Florent de Puisieux) appeared under the title of “Les Hommes Volants, ou les Aventures de Pierre Wilkins,” which was included in vols. xxii.-xxiii. of DePerthe's “Voyages Imaginaires” ( 1788-89). A German translation was published in 1767, having for title “Die fliegenden Menschen, oder wunderbare Begebenheiten Peter Wilkins.” Whether the author lived to see the translations of this work cannot be ascertained. A Robert Paltock was buried at Ryme Intrinseca Church, Dorset, in 1767, aged seventy (Hutchin's “Dorset,” iv. 493-494, third edition), but it is very doubtful whether he was the author of the romance.

Paltock's fame may be said to be firmly established. An American writer, it is true, in a recent “History of Fiction,” says not a word about “Peter Wilkins;” but, we must remember, another American wrote a “History of Caricature” without mentioning Rowlandson. Coleridge admired the book, and is reported to have said: “Peter Wilkins is, to my mind, a work of uncommon beauty.... I believe that 'Robinson Crusoe' and 'Peter Wilkins' could only have been written by islanders. No continentalist could have conceived either tale.... It would require a very peculiar genius to add another tale ejusdem generis to 'Robinson Crusoe' and 'Peter Wilkins.' I once projected such a thing, but the difficulty of the preoccupied ground stopped me. Perhaps La Motte Fouqué might effect something; but I should fear that neither he nor any other German could entirely understand what may be called the desert island feeling. I would try the marvellous line of 'Peter Wilkins' if I attempted it rather than the real fiction of 'Robinson Crusoe'“ (“Table-Talk,” 1851, pp. 331-332). Southey, in a note on a passage of the “Curse of Kehama,” went so far as to say that Paltock's winged people “are the most beautiful creatures of imagination that ever were devised,” and added that Sir Walter Scott was a warm admirer of the book. With Charles Lamb at Christ's Hospital the story was a favourite. “We had classics of our own,” he says, “without being beholden to 'insolent Greece or haughty Rome,' that passed current among us—'Peter Wilkins,' the 'Adventures of the Hon. Captain Robert Boyle,' the 'Fortunate Blue-Coat Boy,' and the like.” But nobody loved the old romance with such devotion as Leigh Hunt. He was never tired of discoursing about its beauties, and he wrote with such thorough appreciation of his subject that he left little or nothing for another to add. “It is interesting,” he writes in one place, “to fancy R. P., or 'Mr. Robert Paltock of Clement's Inn,' a gentle lover of books, not successful enough, perhaps, as a barrister to lead a public or profitable life, but eking out a little employment or a bit of a patrimony with literature congenial to him, and looking oftener to 'Purchase Pilgrims' on his shelves than to 'Coke on Littleton.' We picture him to ourselves with 'Robinson Crusoe' on one side of him and 'Gaudentio di Lucca' on the other, hearing the pen go over his paper in one of those quiet rooms in Clement's Inn that look out of its old-fashioned buildings into the little garden with the dial in it held by the negro: one of the prettiest corners in London, and extremely fit for a sequestered fancy that cannot get any further. There he sits, the unknown, ingenious, and amiable Mr. Robert Paltock, thinking of an imaginary beauty for want of a better, and creating her for the delight of posterity, though his contemporaries were to know little or nothing of her. We shall never go through the place again without regarding him as its crowning interest.... Now a sweeter creature [than Youwarkee] is not to be found in books; and she does him immortal honour. She is all tenderness and vivacity; all born good taste and blessed companionship. Her pleasure consists but in his; she prevents all his wishes; has neither prudery nor immodesty; sheds not a tear but from right feeling; is the good of his home and the grace of his fancy. It has been well observed that the author has not made his flying women in general light and airy enough... And it may be said, on the other hand, that the kind of wing, the graundee, or elastic drapery which opens and shuts at pleasure, however ingeniously and even beautifully contrived, would necessitate creatures whose modifications of humanity, bodily and mental, though never so good after their kind, might have startled the inventor had he been more of a naturalist; might have developed a being very different from the feminine, sympathising, and lovely Youwarkee. Muscles and nerves not human must have been associated with inhuman wants and feelings; probably have necessitated talons and a beak! At best the woman would have been wilder, more elvish, capricious, and unaccountable. She would have ruffled her whalebones when angry; been horribly intimate, perhaps, with birds' nests and fights with eagles; and frightened Wilkins out of his wits with dashing betwixt rocks and pulling the noses of seals and gulls. (“Book for a Corner,” 1868, i. 68, &c.) Could criticism be more delightful? But in the “London Journal,” November 5, 1834, the genial essayist's fancy dallied even more daintily with the theme: “A peacock with his plumage displayed, full of 'rainbows and starry eyes,' is a fine object, but think of a lovely woman set in front of an ethereal shell and wafted about like a Venus.... We are to picture to ourselves a nymph in a vest of the finest texture and most delicate carnation. On a sudden this drapery parts in two and flies back, stretched from head to foot like an oval fan or an umbrella; and the lady is in front of it, preparing to sweep blushing away from us and 'winnow the buxom air.'”

For many of us the conduct of life is becoming evermore a thing of greater perplexity. It is wearisome to be rudely jostling one another for the world's prizes, while myriads are toiling round us in an Egyptian bondage unlit by one ray of sunshine from the cradle to the grave. Some have attained to Lucretian heights of philosophy, whence they look with indifference over the tossing world-wide sea of human misery; but others are fain to avert their eyes, to clean forget for a season the actual world and lose themselves in the mazes of romance. In moments of despondency there is no greater relief to a fretted spirit than to turn to the “Odyssey” or Mr. Payne's exquisite translation of the “Arabian Nights.” Great should be our gratitude to Mr. Morris for teaching us in golden verse that “Love is Enough,” and for spreading wide the gates of his “Earthly Paradise.” Lucian's “True History,” that carries us over unknown seas beyond the Atlantic bounds to enchanted islands in the west, is one of those books which we do not half appreciate. And among the world's benefactors Robert Paltock deserves a place. An idle hour could not be spent in a much pleasanter way than in watching Peter Wilkins go a-field with his gun or haul up the beast-fish at the lonely creek. What can be more delightful than the description how, wakened from dreams of home by the noise of strange voices overhead, he sees fallen at his door the lovely winged woman Youwarkee! Prudish people may be scandalised at the unreserved frankness shown in the account of the consummation of Wilkins' marriage with this fair creature; but the editor was unwilling to mutilate the book in the interests of such refined readers. A man or a woman who can find anything to shock his or her feelings in the description of Youwarkee's bridal night deserves the commiseration of sensible people. Very charming is the picture of the children sitting round the fire on the long winter evenings listening wide-eyed to the ever-fresh story of their father's marvellous adventures. The wholesome morality, the charitableness and homely piety apparent throughout, give the narrative a charm denied to many works of greater literary pretension. When Peter Wilkins leaves his solitary home to live among the winged people, the interest of the story, it must be confessed, is somewhat diminished. The author's obligations to Swift in the latter part of the book are considerable; and of course in describing how Peter Wilkins ordered his life on the lonely island, he was largely indebted to Defoe. But the creation of the winged beings is Paltock's own. It has been suggested that he named his hero after John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester, who, among other curious theories, had seriously discussed the question whether men could acquire the art of flying. In the second part of his “Mathematical Magick,” the Bishop writes: “Those things that seem very difficult and fearfull at the first may grow very facil after frequent trial and exercise: And therefore he that would effect any thing in this kind must be brought up to the constant practice of it from his Youth; trying first only to use his wings in running on the ground, as an Estrich or tame geese will do, touching the earth with his toes; and so by degrees learn to rise higher till he shall attain unto skill and confidence. I have heard it from credible testimony that one of our nation hath proceeded so far in this experiment that he was able by the help of wings to skip constantly ten yards at a time.” Youwarkee spread wide her graundee, and in an instant was lost in the clouds. Had the author given her the motion of a goose, or even of an ostrich—bah! the thought is too dreadful.

Judicious reader, the long winter evenings have come round, and you have now abundance of leisure. Let the poets stand idle on the shelves till the return of spring, unless perchance you would fain resume acquaintance with the “Seasons,” which you have not read since a boy, or would divert yourself with Prior or be grave with Crabbe. Now is the time to feel once more the charm of Lamb's peerless and unique essays; now is the time to listen to the honied voice of Leigh Hunt discoursing daintily of men and books. So you will pass from Charles Lamb and Leigh Hunt to the books they loved to praise. Exult in the full-blooded, bracing life which pulses in the pages of Fielding; and if Smollett's mirth is occasionally too riotous and his taste too coarse, yet confess that all faults must be pardoned to the author of “Humphry Clinker.” Many a long evening you will spend pleasantly with Defoe; and then, perchance, after a fresh reading of the thrice and four times wonderful adventures of Robinson Crusoe, you will turn to the romance of “Peter Wilkins.” So may rheums and catarrhs be far from you, and may your hearth be crowned with content!

A. H. B.

5 Willow Road, Hampstead, November 1883.

LIFE AND ADVENTURES

OF

PETER WILKINS.

A Cornish Man:

Relating particularly,

His Shipwreck near the South Pole; his wonderful Passage thro' a subterraneous Cavern into a kind of new World; his there meeting with a Gawry or flying woman, whose Life he preserv'd, and afterwards married her; his extraordinary Conveyance to the Country of Glums and Gawrys, or Men and Women that fly. Likewise a Description of this strange Country, with the Laws, Customs, and Manners of its Inhabitants, and the Author's remarkable Transactions among them.

Taken from his own Mouth, in his Passage to England from off Cape Horn in America, in the ship Hector,

With an INTRODUCTION, giving an Account of the surprizing Manner of his coming on board that Vessel, and his Death on his landing at Plymouth in the Year 1739.

Illustrated with several Cuts, clearly and distinctly representing the Structure and Mechanism of the Wings of the Glums and Gawrys, and the Manner in which they use them either to swim or fly.

To the Right Honourable

ELIZABETH,

Countess of Northumberland, Madam,

Few Authors, I believe, who write in my Way (whatever View they may set out with) can, in the Prosecution of their Works, forbear to dress their fictitious Characters in the real Ornaments themselves have been most delighted with.

THIS, I confess, hath been my Case, in the Person of Youwarkee, in the following Sheets; for having formed her Body, I found myself at an inexpressible Loss how to adorn her Mind in the masterly Sentiments I coveted to endue her with; 'till I recollected the most aim[i]able Pattern in your Ladyship; a single View of which, at a Time of the utmost fatigue to his Lordship, hath charmed my Imagination ever since.

If a Participater of the Cares of Life in general, alleviates the Concerns of Man; what an invaluable Blessing must that Lady prove, to the Softness of whose Sex Nature hath conjoined an Aptitude for Council, an Application, Zeal, and Dispatch but too rarely found in his own!

Had my Situation in Life been so happy as to have presented me with Opportunities of more frequent and minuter Remarks upon your Ladyship's Conduct, I might have defy'd the whole British Fair to have outshone my southern Gawry: For if, to a majestic Form and extensive Capacity, I had been qualified to have copied that natural Sweetness of Disposition, that maternal Tenderness, that Cheerfulness, that Complacency, Condescension, Affability, and unaffected Benevolence, which so apparently distinguish the Countess of Northumberland; I had exhibited in my Youwarkee a Standard for future Generations.

Madam, I am the more sensible of my Speaking but the Truth from the late Instance of your Benignity, which entitles me to the Honour of subscribing myself,

Madam, Your Ladyship's

most obliged and

most obedient Servant,

R. P.

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

CHAPTER I.

Giving an account of the authors birth and family—The fondness of his mother—His being put to an academy at sixteen by the advice of his friend—His thoughts of his own literature

CHAPTER II.

How he spent his time at the academy—An intrigue with a servant maid there—She declares herself with child by him—Her expostulations with him—He is put to it for money—Refused it from home by his friend, who had married his mother—Is drawn in to marry the maid—She lies in at her aunts—Returns to her service—He has another child by her

CHAPTER III.

Minds his studies—Informs his master of his mother's marriage and usage of him—Hears of her death—Makes his master his guardian—Goes with him to take possession of his estate—Is informed all is given to his father-in-law—Moral reflections on his condition and on his father's crimes

CHAPTER IV.

Departs secretly from his master—Travels to Bristol—Religious thoughts by the way—Enters on shipboard, and is made captain's steward

CHAPTER V.

His first entertainment en board—Sets sail—His sickness—Engagement with a French privateer—Is taken and laid in irons—Twenty-one prisoners turned adrift in a small boat with only two days' provisions

CHAPTER VI.

The boat, two hundred leagues from land, makes no way, but drives more to sea by the wind—The people live nine days at quarter allowance—Four die with hunger the twelfth day—Five more the fourteenth day—On the fifteenth they eat one just dead—Want of water excessive—They spy a sail—Are taken up—Work their passage to the African shore—One sent on a secret expedition—Are way-laid, taken, made slaves, and sent up the country

CHAPTER VII.

The author escapes with Glanlepze, a native—His hardships in travel—Plunder of a cottage—His fears—Adventure with a crocodile—Passage of a river—Adventure with a lioness and whelps—Arrives at Glanlepze's house—The trial of Glanlepze s wife's constancy—The tender meeting of her and her husband—The author's reflections thereupon

CHAPTER VIII.

How the author passed his time with Glanlepze—His acquaintance with some English prisoners—They project an escape—He joins them—They seize a Portuguese ship and get off—Make a long run from land—Want water—They anchor at a desert island—The boat goes on shore for water—They lose their anchor in a storm—The author and one Adams drove to sea—A miraculous passage to a rock—Adams drowned there—The authors miserable condition

CHAPTER IX.

He thinks of destroying himself—His soliloquy—Strange accident in the hold—His surprise—Can't climb the rock—His method to sweeten his water—Lives many months on board—Ventures to sea in his boat several times and takes many fish—Almost overcome by an eel

CHAPTER X.

Lays in great store of provisions—Resolves to traverse the rock—Sails for three weeks, still seeing it only—Is sucked under the rock, and hurried down a cataract—Continues there five weeks—His description of the cavern—His thoughts and difficulties—His arrival at a great lake, and his landing in the beautiful country of Graundevolet

CHAPTER XI.

His joy on his arrival at land—A description of the place—No inhabitants—Wants fresh water—Resides in a grotto—Finds water—Views the country—Carries his things to the grotto

CHAPTER XII.

An account of the grotto—A room added to it—A view of that building—The author makes a little cart—Also a wet dock for his boat—Goes in quest of provision—A description of divers fruits and plants—He brings home a cartload of different sorts—Makes experiments on them—Loads his cart with others—A great disappointment—Makes good bread—Never sees the sun—The nature of the light

CHAPTER XIII.

The author lays in a store against the dark weather—Hears voice—His thoughts thereon—Persuades himself it was a dream—Hears them again—Determines to see if any one lodged in the rock—Is satisfied there is nobody—Observations on what he saw—Finds a strong weed like whip-cord—Makes a dragnet—Lengthens it—Catches a monster—Its description—Makes oil of it

CHAPTER XIV.

The author passes the summer pleasantly—Hears the voices in the winter—Ventures out—Sees a strange sight on the lake—His uneasiness at it—His dream—Soliloquy—Hears the voices again, and perceives a great shock on his building—Takes up a beautiful woman—He thinks her dead, but recovers her—A description of her—She stays with him

CHAPTER XV.

He is afraid of losing his new mistress—They live together all winter—A remark on that—They begin to know each others language—A long discourse between them at cross purposes—She flies—They engage to be man and wife

CHAPTER XVI.

The author's disappointment at first going to bed with his new wife—Some strange circumstances relating thereto—She resolves several questions he asks her, and clears up his fears as to the voices—A description of swangeans

CHAPTER XVII.

Youwarkee cannot bear a strong light—Her husband makes her spectacles, which help her—A description of them

CHAPTER XVIII.

Youwarkee with child—The author's stock of provisions—No beast or fish in Youwarkee's country—The voices again—Her reason for not seeing those who uttered 'em—She bears a son—A hard speech in her lying-in—Divers birds appear—Their eggs gathered—How the author kept account of time

CHAPTER XIX.

His concern about clothing for Pedro, his eldest son—His discourse with his wife about the ship—Her flight to it—His melancholy reflections 'till her return—An account of what she had done, and of what she brought—She clothes her children and takes a second flight

CHAPTER XX.

The author observes her flight—A description of a glumm in the graundee—She finds out the gulf not far from the ship—Brings home more goods—Makes her a gown by her husband's instruction

CHAPTER XXI.

The author gets a breed of poultry—By what means—Builds them a house—How he managed to keep them in winter

CHAPTER XXII.

Reflections on mankind—The author wants to be with his ship—Projects going, but perceives it impracticable—Youwarkee offers her service, and goes—An account of her transactions on board—Remarks on her sagacity—She despatches several chests of goods through the gulf to the lake—An account of a danger she escaped—The author has a fit of sickness

CHAPTER XXIII.

The religion of the author's family

CHAPTER XXIV.

An account of his children—Their names—They are exercised in flying—His boat crazy—Youwarkee intends a visit to her father, but first takes another flight to the ship—Sends a boat and chests through the gulf—Clothes her children—Is with child again, so her visit is put off—An inventory of the last freight of goods—The authors method of treating his children—Youwarkee, her son Tommy, with her daughters Patty and Hallycarnie, set out for her father's

CHAPTER XXV.

Youwarkee's account of the stages to Arndrumnstake—The author uneasy at her flight—His employment in her absence, and preparations for receiving her father—How he spent the evenings with the children

CHAPTER XXVI.

His concern at Youwarkee's stay—Reflections on his condition—Hears a voice call him—Youwarkee's brother Quangrollart visits him with a companion—He treats them at the grotto—The brother discovers himself by accident—The author presents his children to him

CHAPTER XXVII.

Quangrollarf s account of Youwarkee's journey, and reception at her father's

THE INTRODUCTION.

It might be looked upon as impertinent in me, who am about to give the life of another, to trouble the reader with any of my own concerns, or the affairs that led me into the South Seas. Therefore I shall only acquaint him, that in my return on board the “Hector,” as a passenger, round Cape Horn, for England, full late in the season, the wind and currents setting strong against us, our ship drove more southernly, by several degrees, than the usual course, even to the latitude of 75 or 76; when the wind chopping about, we began to resume our intended way. It was about the middle of June, when the days are there at the shortest, on a very starry and moonlight night, that we observed at some distance a very black cloud, but seemingly of no extraordinary size or height, moving very fast towards us, and seeming to follow the ship, which then made great way. Every one on deck was very curious in observing its motions; and perceiving it frequently to divide, and presently to close again, and not to continue long in any determined shape, our captain, who had never before been so far to the southward as he then found himself, had many conjectures what this phenomenon might portend; and every one offering his own opinion, it seemed at last to be generally agreed that there might possibly be a storm gathering in the air, of which this was the prognostic; and by its following, and nearly keeping pace with us, we were in great fear lest it should break upon and overwhelm us, if not carefully avoided. Our commander, therefore, as it approached nearer and nearer, ordered one of the ship's guns to be fired, to try if the percussion of the air would disperse it. This was no sooner done than we heard a prodigious flounce in the water, at but a small distance from the ship, on the weather-quarter; and after a violent noise, or cry in the air, the cloud, that upon our firing dissipated, seemed to return again, but by degrees disappeared. Whilst we were all very much surprised at this unexpected accident, I, being naturally very curious and inquisitive into the causes of all unusual incidents, begged the captain to send the boat to see, if possible, what it was that had fallen from the cloud, and offered myself to make one in her. He was much against this at first, as it would retard his voyage, now we were going so smoothly before the wind. But in the midst of our debate, we plainly heard a voice calling out for help, in our own tongue, like a person in great distress. I then insisted on going, and not suffering a fellow-creature to perish for the sake of a trifling delay. In compliance with my resolute demand, he slackened sail; and hoisting out the boat, myself and seven others made to the cry, and soon found it to come from an elderly man, labouring for life, with his arms across several long poles, of equal size at both ends, very light, and tied to each other in a very odd manner. The sailors at first were very fearful of assisting or coming near him, crying to each other, “He must be a monster!” and perhaps might overset the boat and destroy them; but hearing him speak English, I was very angry with them for their foolish apprehensions, and caused them to clap their oars under him, and at length we got him into the boat. He had an extravagant beard, and also long blackish hair upon his head. As soon as he could speak (for he was almost spent), he very familiarly took me by the hand, I having set myself close by him to observe him, and squeezing it, thanked me very kindly for my civility to him, and likewise thanked all the sailors. I then asked him by what possible accident he came there; but he shook his head, declining to satisfy my curiosity. Hereupon reflecting that it might just then be troublesome for him to speak, and that we should have leisure enough in our voyage for him to relate, and me to hear, his story (which, from the surprising manner of his falling amongst us, I could not but believe would contain something very remarkable), I waived any farther speech with him at that time.

We had him to the ship, and taking off his wet clothes, put him to bed in my cabin; and I having a large provision of stores on board, and no concern in the ship, grew very fond of him, and supplied him with everything he wanted. In our frequent discourses together, he had several times dropped loose hints of his past transactions, which but the more inflamed me with impatience to hear the whole of them. About this time, having just begun to double the Cape, our captain thought of watering at the first convenient place; and finding the stranger had no money to pay his passage, and that he had been from England no less than thirty-five years, despairing of his reward for conducting him thither, he intimated to him that he must expect to be put on shore to shift for himself, when we put in for water. This entirely sunk the stranger's spirits, and gave me great concern, insomuch that I fully resolved, if the captain should really prove such a brute, to take the payment of his passage on myself.

As we came nearer to the destined watering, the captain spoke the plainer of his intentions (for I had not yet hinted my design to him or any one else); and one morning the stranger came into my cabin, with tears in his eyes, telling me he verily believed the captain would be as good as his word, and set him on shore, which he very much dreaded. I did not choose to tell him immediately what I designed in his favour, but asked him if he could think of no way of satisfying the captain, or any one else, who might thereupon be induced to engage for him; and farther, how he expected to live when he should get to England, a man quite forgotten and penniless. Hereupon he told me he had, ever since his being on board, considering his destitute condition, entertained a thought of having his adventures written; which, as there was something so uncommon in them, he was sure the world would be glad to know; and he had flattered himself with hopes of raising somewhat by the sale of them to put him in a way of living; but as it was plain now he should never see England without my assistance, if I would answer for his passage, and write his life, he would communicate to me a faithful narrative thereof, which he believed would pay me to the full any charge I might be at on his account. I was very well pleased with this overture, not from the prospect of gain by the copy, but from the expectation I had of being fully satisfied in what I had so long desired to know; so I told him I would make him easy in that respect. This quite transported him: he caressed me, and called me his deliverer, and was then going open-mouthed to the captain to tell him so. But I put a stop to that: For, says I, though I insist upon hearing your story, the captain may yet relent of his purpose, and not leave you on shore; and if that should prove the case, I shall neither part with my money for you, nor you with your interest in your adventures to me. Whereupon he agreed I was right, and desisted.

When we had taken in best part of our water, and the boat was going its last turn, the captain ordered up the strange man, as they called him, and told him he must go on board the boat, which was to leave him on shore with some few provisions. I happening to hear nothing of these orders, they were so sudden, the poor man was afraid, after all, he should have been hurried to land without my knowledge: but begging very hard of the captain only for leave to speak with me before he went, I was called (though with some reluctance, for the captain disliked me for the liberties I frequently took with him, on account of his brutal behaviour). I expostulated with the cruel wretch on the inhumanity of the action he was about; telling him, if he had resolved the poor man should perish, it would have been better to have suffered him to do so when he was at the last extremity, than to expose him afresh, by this means, to a death as certain, in a more lingering and miserable way. But the savage being resolved, and nothing moved by what I said, I paid him part of the passage down, and agreed to pay the rest at our arrival in England.

Thus having reprieved the poor man, the next thing was to enter upon my new employ of amanuensis: and having a long space of time before us, we allotted two hours every morning for the purpose of writing down his life from his own mouth; and frequently, when wind and weather kept us below, we spent some time of an afternoon in the same exercise, till we had quite completed it. But then there were some things in it so indescribable by words, that if I had not had some knowledge in drawing, our history had been very incomplete. Thus it must have been, especially in the description of the Glumms and Gawrys therein mentioned. In order to gain (that so I might communicate) a clear idea of these, I made several drawings of them from his discourses and accounts; and, at length, after divers trials, I made such exact delineations, that he declared they could not have been more perfect resemblances if I had drawn them from the life. Upon a survey, he confessed the very persons themselves could not have been more exact. I also drew with my pencil the figure of an aerial engagement, which, having likewise had his approbation, I have given a draught of, plate the sixth.

Then, having finished the work to our mutual satisfaction, I locked it up, in order to peruse it at leisure, intending to have presented it to him at our arrival in England, to dispose of as he pleased, in such a way as might have conduced most to his profit; for I resolved, notwithstanding our agreement, and the obligations he was under to me, that the whole of that should be his own. But he, having been in a declining state some time before we reached shore, died the very night we landed; and his funeral falling upon me, I thought I had the greatest right to the manuscript, which, however, I had no design to have parted with; but showing it to some judicious friends, I have by them been prevailed with not to conceal from the world what may prove so very entertaining, and perhaps useful.

R. P.

A GENUINE ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIFE OF PETER WILKINS.

CHAPTER I.

Giving an account of the author's birth and family—The fondness of his mother—His being put to an academy at sixteen by the advice of his friend—His thoughts of his own illiterature

I was born at Penhale, in the county of Cornwall, on the 21st day of December 1685, about four months after my father, Peter Wilkins, who was a zealous Protestant of the Church of England, had been executed by Jeffreys, in Somersetshire, for joining in the design of raising the Duke of Monmouth to the British throne. I was named, after my father and grandfather, Peter, and was my father's only child by Alice his wife, the daughter of John Capert, a clergyman in a neighbouring village. My grandfather was a shopkeeper at Newport, who, by great frugality and extraordinary application, had raised a fortune of about £160 a year in lands, and a considerable sum of ready money, all which at his death devolved upon my father, as his only child; who, being no less parsimonious than my grandfather, and living upon his own estate, had much improved it in value before his marriage with my mother; but he coming to that unhappy end, my mother, after my birth, placed all her affection upon me (her growing hope, as she called me), and used every method, in my minority, of increasing the store for my benefit.

In this manner she went on, till I grew too big, as I thought, for confinement at the apron-string, being then about fourteen years of age; and having met with so much indulgence from her, for that reason found very little or no contradiction from anybody else; so I looked on myself as a person of some consequence, and began to take all opportunities of enjoying the company of my neighbours, who hinted frequently that the restraint I was under was too great a curb upon an inclination like mine of seeing the world; but my mother, still impatient of any little absence, by excessive fondness, and encouraging every inclination I seemed to have, when she could be a partaker with me, kept me within bounds of restraint till I arrived at my sixteenth year.

About this time I got acquainted with a country gentleman, of a small paternal estate, which had been never the better for being in his hands, and had some uneasy demands upon it. He soon grew very fond of me, hoping, as I had reason afterwards to believe, by a union with my mother to set himself free from his entanglements. She was then about thirty-five years old, and still continued my father's widow, out of particular regard to me, as I have all the reason in the world to believe. She was really a beautiful woman, and of a sanguine complexion, but-had always carried herself with so much reserve, and given so little encouragement to any of the other sex, that she had passed her widowhood with very few solicitations to alter her way of life. This gentleman observing my mother's conduct, in order to ingratiate himself with her, had shown numberless instances of regard for me; and, as he told my mother, had observed many things in my discourse, actions, and turn of mind, that presaged wonderful expectations from me, if my genius was but properly cultivated.

This discourse, from a man of very good parts, and esteemed by everybody an accomplished gentleman, by degrees wrought upon my mother, and more and more inflamed her with a desire of adding what lustre she could to my applauded abilities, and influenced her so far as to ask his advice in what manner most properly to proceed with me. My gentleman then had his desire, for he feared not the widow, could he but properly dispose of her charge; so having desired a little time to consider of a matter of such importance, he soon after told her he thought the most useful method of establishing me would be at an academy, kept by a very worthy and judicious gentleman, about thirty, or more, miles from us, in Somersetshire; where, if I could but be admitted, the master taking in but a stated number of students at a time, he did not in the least doubt but I should fully answer the character he had given her of me, and outshine most of my contemporaries.

My mother, over-anxious for my good, seeming to listen to this proposal, my friend (as I call him) proposed taking a journey himself to the academy, to see if any place was vacant for my reception, and learn the terms of my admission; and in three days' time returned with an engaging account of the place, the master, the regularity of the scholars, of an apartment secured for my reception, and, in short, whatever else might captivate my mother's opinion in favour of his scheme; and indeed, though he acted principally from another motive, as was plain afterwards, I cannot help thinking he believed it to be the best way of disposing of a lad sixteen years old, born to a pretty fortune, and who, at that age, could but just read a chapter in the Testament; for he had before beat my mother quite out of her inclination to a grammar-school in the neighbourhood, from a contempt, he said, it would bring upon me from lads much my juniors in years, by being placed in the first rudiments of learning with them.

Well, the whole concern of my mother's little family was now employed in fitting me out for my expedition; and as my friend had been so instrumental in bringing it about, he never missed a day inquiring how preparations went on; and during the process, by humouring me, ingratiated himself more and more with my mother, but without seeming in the least to aim at it. In short, the hour of my departure arrived; and though I had never been master of above a sixpence at one time, unless at a fair or so, for immediate spending, my mother, thinking to make my heart easy at our separation (which, had it appeared otherwise, would have broke hers, and spoiled all), gave me a double pistole in gold, and a little silver in my pocket to prevent my changing it.

Thus I (the coach waiting for us at the door), having been preached into a good liking of the scheme by my friend, who now insisted upon making one of our company to introduce us, mounted the carriage with more alacrity than could be expected for one who had never before been beyond the smoke of his mother's chimney; but the thoughts I had conceived, from my friend's discourse, of liberty in the academic way, and the weight of so much money in my pocket, as I then imagined would scarce ever be exhausted, were prevailing cordials to keep my spirits on the wing. We lay at an inn that night, near the master's house, and the next day I was initiated; and, at parting with me, my friend presented me with a guinea. When I found myself thus rich, I must say I heartily wished they were all fairly at home again, that I might have time to count my cash, and dispose of such part of it as I had already appropriated to several uses then in embryo.

The next morning left me master of my wishes, for my mother came and took her last (though she little thought it) leave of me, and smothering me with her caresses and prayers for my well-doing, in the height of her ardour put into my hand another guinea, promising to see me again quickly; and desiring me, in the meantime, to be a very good husband, which I have since taken to be a sort of prophetic speech, she bid me farewell.

I shall not trouble you with the reception I met from my master, or his scholars, or tell you how soon I made friends of all my companions, by some trifling largesses which my stock enabled me to bestow as occasion required; but I must inform you that, after sixteen years of idleness at home, I had but little heart to my nouns and pronouns, which now began to be crammed upon me; and being the eldest lad in the house, I sometimes regretted the loss of the time past, and at other times despaired of ever making a scholar at my years; and was ashamed to stand like a great lubber, declining of hæc mulier a woman, whilst my schoolfellows, and juniors by five years, were engaged in the love stories of Ovid, or the luscious songs of Horace. I own these thoughts almost overcame me, and threw me into a deep melancholy, of which I soon after, by letter, informed my mother; who (by the advice, as I suppose, of my friend, by this time her suitor) sent me word to mind my studies, and I should want for nothing.

CHAPTER II.

     How he spent his time at the academy—An intrigue with a
     servant-maid there—She declares herself with child by him—
     Her expostulations to him—He is put to it for money—
     Refused it from home by his friend, who had married his
     mother—Is drawn in to marry the maid—She lies-in at her
     aunts—Returns to her service—He has another child by her

I had now been passing my time for about three months in this melancholy way, and, you may imagine, under that disadvantage, had made but little progress in my learning, when one of our maids, taking notice one day of my uneasiness, as I sat musing in my chamber, according to my custom, began to rally me that I was certainly in love, I was so sad. Indeed I never had a thought of love before, but the good-natured girl seeming to pity me, and seriously asking me the cause, I fairly opened my heart to her; and for fear my master should know it, gave her half-a-crown to be silent. This last engagement fixed her my devotee, and from that time we had frequent conferences in confidence together, till at length inclination, framed by opportunity, produced the date of a world of concern to me; for about six months after my arrival at the academy, instead of proving my parts by my scholarship, I had proved my manhood by being the destined father of an infant which my female correspondent then assured me would soon be my own.

We nevertheless held on our frequent intercourse; nor was I so alarmed at the news as I ought to have been, till about two months after, when Patty (for that was the only name I then knew her by) explained herself to me in the following terms:—“You know, Mr. Peter, how matters are with me: I should be very sorry, for your sake, and my own too, to reveal my shame, but in spite of us both nature will show itself; and truly I think some care should be taken, and some method proposed, to preserve the infant, and avoid, as far as may be, the inconveniences that may attend us, for here is now no room for delay.” This speech, I own, gave me the first reflection I ever had in my life, and locked up all my faculties for a long time; nor was I able, for the variety of ideas that crowded my brain, to make a word of answer, but stood like an image of stone, till Patty, seeing my confusion, desired me to recollect my reason; for as it was too late to undo what had been done, it remained now only to act with that prudence and caution which the nature of the case required; and that, for her part, she would concur in every reasonable measure I should approve of; but I must remember she was only a servant, and had very little due to her for wages, and not a penny besides that; and that there must necessarily be a preparation made for the reception of the infant when time should produce it. I now began to see the absolute necessity of all she said, but how to accomplish it was not in me to comprehend. My own small matter of money was gone, and had been so a long time; we therefore agreed I should write to my mother for a fresh supply. I did so; and to my great confusion was answered by my former friend in the following words:—

     “Son Peter,—Your mother and I are much surprised you should
     write for money, having so amply provided for you; but as it
     is not many months to Christmas, when possibly we may send
     for you home, you must make yourself easy till then; as a
     school-boy, with all necessaries found him, cannot have much
     occasion for money.—Your loving father,
     J. G.”

Imagine, if it is possible, my consternation at the receipt of this letter. I began to think I should be tricked out of what my father and grandfather had with so much pains and industry for many years been, heaping up for me, and had a thousand thoughts all together jostling out each other, so could resolve on nothing. I then showed Patty the letter, and we both condoled my hard fortune, but saw no remedy. Time wore away, and nothing done, or like to be, as I could see. For my part, I was like one distracted, and no more able to assist or counsel what should be done than a child in arms. At length poor Patty, who had sat thinking some time, began with telling me she had formed a scheme which in some measure might help us; but fearing it might be disagreeable to me, she durst not mention it till I should assure her, whatever I thought of that, I would think no worse of her for proposing it. This preparatory introduction startled me a great deal; for it darted into my head she waited for my concurrence to destroy the child, to which I could never have consented. But upon my assuring her I would not think the worse of her for whatever she should propose, but freely give her my opinion upon it, she told me, as she could see no other way before us but what tended to our disgrace and ruin, if I would marry her she would immediately quit her place and return to her aunt, who had brought her up from a child, and had enough prettily to live upon, who, she did not doubt, would entertain her as my wife; but she was assured, upon any other score, or under any other name, would prove her most inveterate enemy. When Patty had made an end, I was glad to find it no worse; and revolving matters a little in my mind, both as to affairs at home and the requested marriage, I concluded upon this latter, and had a great inclination to acquaint my mother of it, but was diverted from that, by suspecting it might prove a good handle for my new father to work with my mother some mischief against me; so determined to marry forthwith, send Patty to her aunt's, and remain still at the academy myself till I should see what turn things would take at home. Accordingly, the next day good part of Patty's wages went to tie the connubial knot, and to the honest parson for a bribe to antedate the certificate; and she very soon after took up the rest to defray her journey to her aunt's.

Though Patty was within two months of her time, she had so managed that no one perceived it; and getting safe to her aunt's, was delivered of a daughter, of which she wrote me word, and said she hoped to see me at the end of her month. How, thought I, can she expect to see me; money I have none! and then I despaired of leave for a journey if I had it; and to go without leave would only arm J. G. against me, as I perceived plainly his interest and mine were very remote things; so I resolved to quit all thoughts of a journey, and wait till opportunity better served for seeing my wife and child, and our good aunt to whom we were so much obliged. While these and such-like cogitations engrossed my whole attention, I was most pleasingly surprised one day, upon my return-from a musing walk by the river-side at the end of our garden, where I frequently got my tasks, to find Patty sitting in the kitchen with my old mistress, my master's mother, who managed his house, he having been a widower many years. The sight of her almost overcame me, as I had bolted into the kitchen, and was seen by my old mistress before I had seen Patty was with her. The old lady, perceiving me discomposed, inquired into the cause, which I directly imputed to the symptoms of an ague that I told her I had felt upon me best part of the morning. She, a good motherly woman, feeling my pulse, and satisfying herself of its disorder, immediately ran to her closet to bring me a cordial, which she assured me had done wonders in the like cases; so that I had but just time to embrace Patty and inquire after our aunt and daughter before madam returned with the cordial. Having drank it, and given thanks, I was going to withdraw, but she would not part with me so; for nothing less than my knowledge that this cordial was of her own making, from whence she had the receipt, and an exact catalogue of the several cures it had done, would serve her turn; which, taking up full three-quarters of an hour, gave room to Patty and me to enjoy each other's glances for that time, to our mutual satisfaction. At last the old prattlebox having made a short pause to recover breath from the narrative of the cordial, “Mr. Peter,” says she, “you look as if you did not know poor Patty; she has not left me so long that you should forget her; she is a good tight wench, and I was sorry to part with her; but she is out of place, she says, and as that dirty creature Nan is gone, I think to take her again.” I told her I well knew she was judge of a good servant, and I did not doubt Patty was such, if she thought so; and then I made my exit, lighter in heart by a pound than I came.

I shall not tire you any farther with the amours between self and Patty; but to let you know she quitted her place again seven months after, upon the same score.

CHAPTER III.

     Minds his studies—Informs his master of his mother's
     marriage, and usage of him—Hears of her death—Makes his
     master his guardian—Goes with him to take possession of his
     estate—Is informed all is given to his father-in-law—Moral
     reflections on his condition, and on his father's crimes.

I was now near nineteen years of age; and though I had so much more in my head than my school-learning, I know not how it happened, but ever since the commencement of my amour with Patty, having somebody to disburden my mind to, and to participate in my concerns, I had been much easier, and had kept true tally with my book, with more than usual delight; and being arrived to an age to comprehend what I heard and read, I could, from the general idea I had of things, form a pretty regular piece of Latin, without being able to repeat the very rules it was done by; so that I had the acknowledgment of my master for the best capacity he ever had under his tuition: this, he not sparing frequently to mention it before me, was the acutest spur he could have applied to my industry; and now, having his good will, I began to disuse set hours of exercise, but at my conveniency applied myself to my studies as I best pleased, being always sure to perform as much, or more, than he ever enjoined me; till I grew exceedingly in his confidence, and by reason of my age (though I was but small, yet manly) I became rather his companion upon parties than his direct pupil.

It was upon one of these parties I took the opportunity to declare the dissatisfaction I had at my mother's second marriage. “Sir,” says I, “surely I was of age to have known it first, especially considering the affection my mother had always shown to me, and my never once having done the least thing to disoblige her; but, sir,” said I, “something else, I fear, is intended by my mother's silence to me; for I have never received above three letters from her since I came here, which is now, you know, three years, and those were within the first three months. I then showed him the fore-mentioned letter I received from my new father-in-law, and assured him that gave me the first hint of this second marriage.”

I found, by the attention my master gave to my relation, he seemed to suspect this marriage would prove detrimental to me; but not on the sudden knowing what to say to it, he told me he would consider of it; and, by all means, advised me to write a very obliging letter to my new father, with my humble request that he would please to order me home the next recess of our learning. I did so under my master's dictation; and not long after received an answer to the following effect:—

“Son Peter,—Your mother has been dead a good while; and as to your request, it will be only expensive, and of little use; for a person who must live by his studies can't apply to them too closely.”

This letter, if I had a little hope left, quite subdued my fortitude, and well-nigh reduced me to clay. However, with tears in my eyes, I showed it to my master, who, good man! wishing me well, “Peter,” says he, “what can this mean? here is some mystery concealed in it; here is some ill design on foot!” Then taking the letter into his hand, “A person who must live by his studies,” says he; “here is more meant than we can think for. Why, have not you a pretty estate to live upon, when it comes to your hands? Peter,” says he, “I would advise you to go to your father and inquire how your affairs are left; but I am afraid to let you go alone, and will, when my students depart at Christmas, accompany you myself with all my heart; for you must know I have advised on your affair already, and find you are of age to choose yourself a guardian, who may be any relation or friend you can confide in; and may see you have justice done you.” I immediately thanked him for the hint, and begged him to accept of the trust, as my only friend, having very few, if any, near relations: this he with great readiness complied with, and was admitted accordingly.

So soon as our scholars were gone home, my master lending me a horse, we set out together to possess ourselves of all my father's real estate, and such part of the personal as he had been advised would belong to me. Well, we arrived at the old house, but were not received with such extraordinary tokens of friendship as would give the least room to suppose we were welcome. For my part, all I said, or could say, was that I was very sorry for my mother's death. My father replied so was he. Here we paused, and might have sat silent till this time for me, if my master, a grave man, who had seen the world, and was unwilling any part of our time there, which we guessed would be short, should be lost, had not broke silence. “Mr. G.” says he, “I see the loss of Master Wilkins's mother puts him under some confusion; so that you will excuse me, as his preceptor and friend, in making some inquiry how his affairs stand, and how his effects are disposed, as I don't doubt you have taken care to schedule everything that will be coming to him; and though he is not yet of the necessary age for taking upon himself the management of his estate, he is nevertheless of capacity to understand the nature and quantum of it, and to show his approbation of the disposition of it, as if he was a year or two older.” During this discourse, Mr. G. turned pale, then reddened, was going to interrupt, then checked himself; but however kept silence till my master had done; when, with a sneer, he replied, “Sir, I must own myself a great stranger to your discourse; nor can I, for my life, imagine what your harangue tends to; but sure I am, I know of no estate, real or personal, or anything else belonging to young Mr. Wilkins, to make a schedule of, as you call it: but this I know, his mother had an estate in land, near two hundred a year, and also a good sum of money when I married her; but the estate she settled on me before her marriage, to dispose of after her decease as I saw fit; and her money and goods are all come to my sole use, as her husband.” I was just ready to drop while Mr. G. gave this relation, and was not able to reply a word; but my master, though sufficiently shocked at what he had heard, replied, “Sir, I am informed the estate, and also the money you mention, was Mr. Wilkins's father's at his death; and I am surprised to think any one should have a better title to them than my pupil, his only child.”—“Sir,” says Mr. G., “you are deceived; and though what you say seems plausible enough, and is in some part true, as that the late Mr. Wilkins had such estate, and some hundreds—I may say thousands—at his death; yet you seem ignorant that he made a deed, just before entering into the fatal rebellion, by which he gave my late wife both the estate, money, and everything else he had, absolutely, without any conditions whatsoever; all which, on his unhappy execution, she enjoyed, and now of right, as I told you before, belongs to me. However, as I have no child, if Peter behaves well under your direction, I have thoughts of paying another year's board for him, and then he must shift for himself.”—“Oh!” cried I, “for the mercy of some savage beast to devour me! Is this what I have been cockered up for? Why was I not placed out to some laborious craft, where I might have drudged for bread in my proper station? But I fear it is too late to inquire into what is past, and must submit.”

My master, good man! was thunderstruck at what he had heard; and finding our business done there, we took our leaves; after Mr. G. had again repeated, that if I behaved well, my preceptor should keep me another year, which was all I must expect from him; and at my departure he gave me a crown-piece, which I then durst not refuse, for fear of offending my master.

We made the best of our way home again to my tutor's, where I stayed but a week to consider what I should do for myself. In this time he did all he could to comfort me; telling me if I would stay with him and become his usher, he would complete my learning for nothing, and allow me a salary for my trouble. But my heart was too lofty to think of becoming an usher within so little way from mine own estate in other hands. However, since I had not a penny of money to endeavour at recovering my right with, I told my master I would consider of his proposal.

During my stay with him he used all methods to make me as easy as possible; and frequently moralised with so much effect, that I was almost convinced I ought to submit and be content. Amongst the rest of his discourse, he endeavoured to show me (one day after I had been loudly condemning my cruel fortune, and saying I was born to be unhappy) that I was mistaken if I thought or imagined it was chance or accident that had been against me when I complained of fortune. “For,” says he, “Peter, there is nothing done below but is at least foreknown, if not decreed, above; and our business in life is to believe so: not that I would have such belief make us careless, and think it to no purpose to strive, as some do; who, being persuaded that our actions are not in our own choice, but that, being pressed by an irresistible decree, we are forced to act this or that, fancy we must be necessarily happy or miserable hereafter; or, as others, who, for fear of falling upon that shocking principle, would even deprive the Almighty of foreknowledge, lest it should consequentially amount to a decree: for, say they, what is foreknown, will and must be. But I would have you act so as that, let either of these tenets be true, you may still be sure of making yourself easy and happy; and for that purpose let me recommend to you a uniform life of justice and piety; always choosing the good rather than the bad side of every action: for this, say they what they will to the contrary, is not above the power of a reasonable being to practise: and doing so, you may without scruple say,—If there is foreknowledge of my actions, or they are decreed, I then am one who is foreknown or decreed to be happy. And this, without farther speculation, you will find the only means always to keep you so; for all men, of all denominations, fully allow this happy effect to follow good actions. Again, Peter, a person acting in a vicious course, with such an opinion in his head as above, must surely be very miserable, as his very actions themselves must pronounce the decree against him: whilst, therefore, we have not heard the decree read, you see we may easily give sentence whether it be for good or evil to us, by the tenor and course of our own actions.

“You are not now to learn, Peter, that the crimes of the father are often punished in the children, often in the father himself, sometimes in both, and not seldom in neither, in this life; and though, at first, one should think the future punishment annexed to bad actions was sufficient, still it is necessary some should suffer here also for an example to others; we being much more affected with what the eye sees, than what the heart only meditates upon.

“Now, to bring it to our own case; your father, Peter, rose against the lawful magistrate, to deprive him (it matters not that he was a bad one) of his lawful power. Your father's policy was such, and his design so well laid, as he thought, that upon any ill success to himself, he had secured his estate to go in the way of all others he could wish to have it, and sits down very well contented that, happen what would, he should bite the Government in preventing the forfeiture. But lo! his policy is as a wall of sand blown down with a puff! for it is to you it ought, even himself being umpire, to have come, as no one would think he would prize any before you, his own child. Now, could he look from the grave, and know what passes here, and see Mr. G. in possession of all he fancied he had secured for you, what a weak and short-sighted creature would he find himself! If it be said he did not know he should have a child, then herein appears God's policy beyond man's; for He knew it, and has so ordered that that child should be disinherited; for, by the way, Peter, take this for a maxim, wherever the first principle of an action is ill, no good consequence can possibly ever be an attendant on it. Could he, as I said before, but look up and see you, his only child, undone by the very instrument he designed for your security, how pungent would be his anxiety! I say, Peter, though there is something so unaccountable to human wisdom in such events of things, yet there is something therein so reasonable and just withal, that by a prying eye, the Supreme Hand may very visibly be seen in them. Now, this being plainly the case before us, and herein the glory of the Almighty exalted, rest content under it, and let not this disappointment, befallen you for your father's faults, be attended with others sent down for your own; but remember this, the Hand that depresses a man is no less able to exalt and establish him.”

CHAPTER IV.

     Departs secretly from his master—Travels to Bristol—
     Religious thoughts by the way—Enters on shipboard, and is
     made captain's steward

I seemed to be very well satisfied whilst my master was speaking; but though I thought he talked like an angel, my former uneasiness seized me at parting with him. In short, without more consideration, I rose in the morning early and marched off, having first wrote to my wife at her aunt's, relating the state of the case to her, with my resolution to leave England the first opportunity, giving her what comfort I could, assuring her if I ever was a gainer in life she should not fail to be a partaker, and promising also to let her know where I settled. I walked at a great rate, for fear my master's kindness should prompt him to send after me; and taking the bye-ways, I reached by dark night a little village, where I resolved to halt. Upon inquiry I found myself thirty-five miles from my master's. I had eaten nothing all day, and was very hungry and weary, but my crown-piece was as yet whole; however I fed very sparingly, being over-pressed with the distress of my affairs and the confusion of my thoughts. I slept that night tolerably, but the morning brought its face of horror with it. I had inquired over-night where I was, and been informed that I was not above sixteen miles from Bristol, for which place I then resolved.

At my setting out in the morning, after I had walked about three miles, and had recollected a little my master's last discourse, I found by degrees my spirit grew calmer than it had been since I left Mr. G. at my house (as I shall ever call it), and looking into myself for the cause, found another set of thoughts were preparing a passage into my mind, which did not carry half the dread and terror with them that their predecessors had; for I began to cast aside the difficulties and apprehensions I before felt in my way, and encouraging the present motions, soon became sensible of the benefit of a virtuous education; and though what I had hitherto done in the immediate service of God, I must own had been performed from force, custom, and habit, and without the least attention to the object of the duty; yet, as under my mother at home, and my master at the academy, I had been always used to say my prayers, as they called it, morning and night: I began, with a sort of superstitious reflection, to accuse myself of having omitted that duty the night before, and also at my setting out in the morning, and very much to blame myself for it, and, at the same instant, even wondered at myself for that blame. What, says I, is the real use of this praying; and to whom or to what do we pray? I see no one to pray to; neither have I ever thought that my prayers would be answered. It is true they are worded as if we prayed to God: but He is in heaven; does He concern Himself with us who can do Him no service? Can I think all my prayers that I have said, from day to day, so many years, have been heard by Him? No, sure; if they had, I should scarce have sustained this hard fate in my fortune. But hold, how have I prayed to Him? Have I earnestly prayed to Him, as I used to petition my mother for anything when I wanted it against her inclination? No, I can't say I have. And would my mother have granted me such things, if she had not thought I had from my heart desired them, when I used to be so earnest with her? No, surely; I can't say she had any reason for it. But I had her indeed before me; now I have not God in my view: He is in heaven. Yet, let me see; my master (and I can't help thinking he must know) used to say that God is a spirit, and not confined by the incumbrance of a body, as we are; now, if it is so, why may He not virtually be present with me, though I don't perceive Him? Why may He not be at once in heaven and elsewhere? For if He consists not in parts, nothing can circumscribe Him: and, truly, I believe it must be so; for if He is of that supreme power as He is represented, He could never act in so unconfined a capacity, under the restraint of place; but if He is an operative and purely spiritual Being, then I can see no reason why His virtual essence should not be diffused through all nature; and then (which I begin to think most likely) why should I not suppose Him ever present with me, and able to hear me? And why should not I, when I pray, have a full idea of the Being, though not of any corporeal parts or form of God, and so have actually somewhat to be intent upon in my prayers, and not do as I have hitherto done, say so many words only upon my knees; which I cannot help thinking may be as well without either sense or meaning in themselves, as without a proper object in my mind to direct them unto?

These thoughts agitated me at least two miles, working stronger and stronger in me; till at length, bursting into tears, Have I been doing nothing, says I, in the sight of God, under the name of prayers, for so many years? Yes, it is certainly so. Well, by the grace of God, it shall be so no longer; I will try somewhat more. So looking round about me, to see if I was quite alone, I stepped into an adjoining copse, and could scarce refrain falling on my knees, till I came to a proper place for kneeling in. I then poured forth my whole soul and spirit to God; and all my strength, and every member, every faculty was to the utmost employed, for a considerable time, in the most agreeable as well as useful duty. I would indeed have begun with my accustomed prayers, and had repeated some words of them; when, as though against and contrary to my design, I was carried away by such rapturous effusions that, to this hour, when I reflect thereon, I cannot believe but I was moved to them by a much more than human impulse. However, this ecstasy did not last above a quarter of an hour; but it was considerably longer before my spirits subsided to their usual frame. When I had a little composed myself, how was I altered! how did I condemn myself for all my past disquiet! what calm thanks did I return for the ease and satisfaction of mind I then enjoyed! And coming to a small rivulet, I drank a hearty draught of water and contentedly proceeded on my journey. I reached Bristol about four o'clock in the afternoon. Having refreshed myself, I went the same evening to the quay to inquire what ships were in the river, whither bound, and when they would depart. My business was with the sailors, of whom there were at that time great numbers there; but I could meet with no employ, though I gave out I would gladly enter myself before the mast. After I had done the best I could, but without success, I returned to the little house I had dined at, and went to bed very pensive. I did not forget my prayers; but I could by no means be roused to such devotion as I felt in the morning. Next day I walked again to the quay, asking all I met, who looked like seafaring men, for employment; but could hear of none, there being many waiting for berths; and I feared my appearance (which was not so mean as most of that sort of gentry is) would prove no small disappointment to my preferment that way. At last, being out of heart with my frequent repulses, I went to a landing-place just by, and as I asked some sailors, who were putting two gentlemen on shore, if they wanted a hand on board their ship, one of the gentlemen, whom I afterwards found to be the master of a vessel bound to the coast of Africa, turned back and looking earnestly on me, “Young man,” says he, “do you want employment on board?” I immediately made him a bow, and answered, “Yes, sir.” Said he, “There is no talking in this weather (for it then blew almost a storm), but step into that tavern,” pointing to the place, “and I will be with you presently.” I went thither, and not long after came my future master. He asked me many questions, but the first was, whether I had been at sea. I told him no; but I did not doubt soon to learn the duty of a sailor. He then looked on my hand, and shaking his head, told me it would not do, for I had too soft a hand. I told him I was determined for the sea, and that my hand and heart should go together; and I hoped my hand would soon harden, though not my heart. He then told me it was a pity to take such a pretty young fellow before the mast; but if I understood accounts tolerably, and could write a good hand, he would make me his steward, and make it worth my while. I answered in the affirmative, joyfully accepting his offer; but on his asking me where my chest was (for, says he, if the wind had not been so strong against me, I had fallen down the river this morning), I looked very blank, and plainly told him I had no other stores than I carried on my back. The captain smiled. Says he, “Young man, I see you are a novice; why, the meanest sailor in my ship has a chest, at least, and perhaps something in it. Come,” says he, “my lad, I like your looks; be diligent and honest; I will let you have a little money to set you out, and deduct it in your pay.” He was then pulling out his purse, when I begged him, as he seemed to show me so great a kindness, that he would order somebody to buy what necessaries he knew I should want for me, or I should be under as great a difficulty to know what to get, and where to buy them, as I should have been at for want of them. He commended my prudence, and said he would buy them and send them on board himself; so bid me trouble myself no more about them, but go to the ship in the return of his boat, and stay there till he came; giving me a ticket to the boat's crew to take me in. When I came to the shore, the boat was gone off and at a good distance; but I hailed them, and showing my ticket, they put back and took me safe to the ship; heartily glad that I was entered upon my new service.

CHAPTER V.

     His first entertainment on board—Sets sail—His sickness—
     Engagement with a French privateer—Is taken and laid in
     irons—Twenty-one prisoners turned adrift in a small boat
     with only two days' provision

Being once on board and in pay, I thought I was a man for myself, and set about considering how to behave; and nobody knowing, as yet, upon what footing I came on board, they took me for a passenger, as my dress did not at all bespeak me a sailor; so every one, as I sauntered about, had something to say to me. By and by comes a pert young fellow up: “Sir,” says he, “your servant; what, I see our captain has picked up a passenger at last.”—“Passenger?” says I; “you are pleased to be merry, sir; I am no passenger.”—“Why, pray,” says he, “what may you be then?”—“Sir,” says I, “the captain's steward.”—“You impertinent puppy,” says he, “what an answer you give me; you the captain's steward! No, sir, that place, I can assure you, is in better hands!” and away he turned. I knew not what to think of it, but was terribly afraid I should draw myself into some scrape. By and by others asked me, some one thing, some another, and I was very cautious what answers I made them, for fear of offence: till a gravish sailor came and sat down by me; and after talking of the weather and other indifferent matters, “Pray,” says I, “sir, who is that gentleman that was so affronted at me soon after I came on board?”—“Oh,” says he, “a proud, insignificant fellow, the captain's steward; but don't mind him,” says he; “he uses the captain himself as bad; they have had high words just before the captain went on shore; and had he used me as he did him, I should have made no ceremony of tipping him overboard—a rascal!” Says I, “You surprise me; for the captain sent me on board to be his steward, and agreed with me about it this afternoon.”—“Hush,” says he, “I see how it will go; the captain, if that's the case, will discharge him when he comes on board; and indeed I believe he would not have kept him so long, but we have waited for a wind, and he could not provide himself.”

The captain came on board at night; and the first thing he did was to demand the keys of Mr. Steward, which he gave to me, and ordered him on shore.

The next morning the captain went on shore himself; but the wind chopping about and standing fair about noon, he returned then with my chest, and before night we were got into sailing order, and before the wind with a brisk gale.

What happened the first fourteen days of our passage I know not, having been all that time so sick and weak I could scarcely keep life and soul together; but after grew better and better. We prosecuted our voyage, touching for about a week at the Madeiras in our way. The captain grew very fond of me, and never put me to hard duty, and I passed my time, under his favour, very pleasantly. One evening, being within sixty leagues of the Cape of Palms, calm weather, but the little wind we had against us, one of our men spied a sail, and gave the captain notice of it He, not suspecting danger, minded it little, and we made what way the wind would permit, but night coming on, and the calm continuing, about peep of day we perceived we were infallibly fallen in with a French privateer, who, hoisting French colours, called out to us to strike. Our captain had scarce time to consider what to do, they were so near us; but as he had twenty-two men on board, and eight guns he could bring to, he called all hands upon deck, and telling them the consequence of a surrender, asked them if they would stand by him. One and all swore they would fight the ship to the bottom, rather than fall into the privateer's hands. The captain immediately gave the word for a clear deck, prepared his firearms, and begged them to be active and obey orders; and perceiving the privateer out-numbered our hands by abundance, he commanded all the small arms to be brought upon deck loaded, and to run out as many of the ship's guns as she could bring to on one side, and to charge them all with small shot, then stand to till he gave directions. The privateer being a light ship, and a small breeze arising, run up close to us, first firing one gun, then another, still calling out to us to strike, but we neither returned fire nor answer, till he came almost within pistol-shot of us, and seeing us a small vessel, thought to board us directly; but then our captain ordered a broadside, and immediately all hands to come on deck; himself standing there at the time of our first fire with his fusee in his hand, and near him I stood with another. We killed eight men and wounded several others. The privateer then fired a broadside through and through us. By this time our hands were all on deck, and the privateer pushing, in hopes to grapple and board us, we gave them a volley from thence, that did good execution; and then all hands to the ship's guns again, except four, who were left along with me to charge the small arms. It is incredible how soon they had fired the great guns and were on deck again. This last fire, being with ball, raked the privateer miserably. Then we fired the small arms, and away to the ship's guns. This we did three times successively without loss of a man, and I believe if we could have held it once more, and no assistance had come to the privateer, she had sheered quite off: but our captain spying a sail at some distance behind the privateer, who lay to windward of us, and seeing by his glass it was a Frenchman, was almost dismayed; the same sight put courage into our enemies, who thereupon redoubled the attack, and the first volley of their small arms shot our captain in the breast, upon which he dropped dead without stirring. I need not say that sight shocked me exceedingly. Indeed it disconcerted the whole action; and though our mate, a man of good courage and experience, did all that a brave man could do to animate the men, they apparently drooped, and the loss of the ship became inevitable; so we struck, and the Frenchman boarded us.

During the latter part of the engagement we had two men killed and five wounded, who died afterwards of their wounds. We, who were alive, were all ordered on board the Frenchman, who, after rifling us, chained us two and two and turned us into the hold. Our vessel was then ransacked; and the other privateer, who had suffered much the day before in an engagement with an English twenty-gun ship of war, coming up, the prize was sent by her into port, where she herself was to refit. In this condition did I and fourteen of our crew lie for six weeks, till the fetters on our legs had almost eaten to the bone, and the stench of the place had well-nigh suffocated us.

The “Glorieux” (for that was the name of the privateer who took us) saw nothing farther in five weeks worth her notice, which very much discouraged the men; and consulting together, it was agreed to cruise more northward, between Sierra Leone and Cape de Verde; but about noon next day they spied a sail coming west-north-west with a fresh gale. The captain thereupon ordered all to be ready, and lie by for her. But though she discerned us, she kept her way, bearing only more southward; when the wind shifting to northeast, she ran for it, full before the wind, and we after her, with all the sail we could crowd; and though she was a very good sailer, we gained upon her, being laden, and before night came pretty well up with her; but being a large ship, and the evening hazy, we did not choose to engage her till morning. The next morning we found she was slunk away; but we fetched her up, and hoisting French colours, fired a shot, which she not answering, our captain run alongside of her and fired a broadside; then slackening upon her, a hard engagement ensued; the shot thumping so against our ship, that we prisoners, who had nothing to do in the action, expected death, one or other of us, every moment. The merchantman was so heavy loaded, and drew so much water, that she was very unwieldy in action; so after a fight of two hours, when most of her rigging and masts were cut and wounded, she struck. Twelve men were sent on board her, and her captain and several officers were ordered on board us.

There were thirty-eight persons in her, including passengers; all of whom, except five, and the like number which had been killed in the action, were sent chained into the hold to us, who had lain there almost six weeks. This prize put Monsieur into good heart, and determined him to return home with her. But in two days' time his new acquisition was found to have leaked so fast near the bottom, that before they were aware of it the water was risen some feet. Several hands were employed to find out the leak; but all asserted it was too low to be come at; and as the pumps, with all the labour the prisoners, who were the persons put to it, could use, would not reduce it, but it still increased, they removed what goods they could into the privateer; and before they could unload it the prize sunk.

The next thing they consulted upon was what to do with the prisoners, who, by the loss of the prize, were now grown too numerous to be trusted in the privateer; fearing, too, as they were now so far out at sea, by the great addition of mouths, they might soon be brought to short. allowance, it was, on both accounts, resolved to give us the prize's boat, which they had saved, and turn us adrift to shift for ourselves. There were in all forty-three of us; but the privateer having lost several of their own men in the two engagements, they looked us over, and picking out two-and-twenty of us, who were the most likely fellows for their purpose, the remaining one-and-twenty were committed to the boat, with about two days' provision and a small matter of ammunition, and turned out.

CHAPTER VI.

     The boat, two hundred leagues from land, makes no way, but
     drives more to sea by the wind—The people live nine days at
     quarter allowance—Four die with hunger the twelfth day—
     Five more the fourteenth day—On the fifteenth they eat one
     just dead—Want of water excessive—Spy a sail—Are taken up
     —Work their passage to the African shore—Are sent on a
     secret expedition—Are waylaid, taken slaves, and sent up
     the country.

When we, who were in the boat, came to reflect on our condition, the prospect before us appeared very melancholy; though we had at first readily enough embraced the offer, rather than perish in so much misery as we suffered in our loathsome confinement. We now judged we were above two hundred leagues from land, in about eight degrees north latitude; and it blowing north-east, a pretty stiff gale, we could make no way, but rather lost, for we aimed at some port in Africa, having neither sail, compass, nor any other instrument to direct us; so that all the observation we could make was by the sun for running southward, or as the wind carried us, for we had lost the North Pole. As we had little above two days' provisions, we perceived a necessity of almost starving voluntarily, to avoid doing it quite, seeing it must be many days before we could reach shore, if ever we did, having visibly driven a great deal more southward than we were; nay, unless a sudden change happened, we were sure of perishing, unless delivered by some ship that Providence might send in our way. In short, the ninth day came, but no relief with it; and though we had lived at quarter allowance, and but just saved life, our food, except a little water, was all gone, and this caused us quite to despair. On the twelfth day four of our company died with hunger in a very miserable way; and yet the survivors had not strength left to move them to pity their fellows. In truth, we had sat still, attempting nothing in several days; as we found that, unless the wind shifted, we only consumed the little strength we had left to no manner of purpose. On the fourteenth day, and in the night, five more died, and a sixth was near expiring; and yet we, the survivors, were so indolent, we would scarce lend a hand to throw them overboard. On the fifteenth day, in the morning, our carpenter, weak as he was, started up, and as the sixth man was just dead, cut his throat, and whilst warm let out what blood would flow; then pulling off his old jacket, invited us to dinner, and cutting a large slice of the corpse, devoured it with as much seeming relish as if it had been ox-beef. His example prevailed with the rest of us, one after another, to taste and eat; and as there had been a heavy dew or rain in the night, and we had spread out everything we had of linen and woollen to receive it, we were a little refreshed by wringing our clothes and sipping what came from them; after which we covered them up from the sun, stowing them all close together to keep in the moisture, which served us to suck at for two days after, a little and a little at a time; for now we were in greater distress for water than for meat. It has surprised me, many times since, to think how we could make so light a thing of eating our fellow creature just dead before our eyes; but I will assure you, when we had once tasted, we looked on the blessing to be so great, that we cut and eat with as little remorse as we should have had for feeding on the best meat in an English market; and most certainly, when this corpse had failed, if another had not dropped by fair means, we should have used foul by murdering one of our number as a supply for the rest.

Water, as I said before, to moisten our mouths, was now our greatest hardship, for every man had so often drank his own, that we voided scarce anything but blood, and that but a few drops at a time; our mouths and tongues were quite flayed with drought, and our teeth just fallen from our jaws; for though we had tried, by placing all the dead men's jackets and shirts one over another, to strain some of the sea-water through them by small quantities, yet that would not deprive it of its pernicious qualities; and though it refreshed a little in going down, we were so sick, and strained ourselves so much after it, that it came up again, and made us more miserable than before. Our corpse now stunk so, what was left of it, that we could no longer bear it on board, and every man began to look with an evil eye on his fellow, to think whose turn it would be next; for the carpenter had started the question, and preached us into the necessity of it; and we had agreed, the next morning, to put it to the lot who should be the sacrifice. In this distress of thought it was so ordered by good Providence, that on the twenty-first day we thought we spied a sail coming from the north-west, which caused us to delay our lots till we should see whether it would discover us or not: we hung up some jackets upon our oars, to be seen as far off as we could, but had so little strength left we could make no way towards it; however, it happened to direct its course so much to our relief, that an hour before sunset it was within a league of us, but seemed to bear away more eastward, and our fear was that they should not know our distress, for we were not able to make any noise from our throats that might be heard fifty yards; but the carpenter, who was still the best man amongst us, with much ado getting one of the guns to go off, in less than half-an-hour she came up with us, and seeing our deplorable condition, took us all on board, to the number of eleven. Though no methods were un-essayed for our recovery, four more of us died in as many days. When the remaining seven of us came a little to ourselves, we found our deliverers were Portuguese, bound for Saint Salvadore. We told the captain we begged he would let us work our passage with him, be it where it would, to shore; and then, if we could be of no further service to him, we did not doubt getting into Europe again: but in the voyage, as we did him all the service in our power, we pleased him so well that he engaged us to stay with him to work the ship home again, he having lost some hands by fever soon after his setting sail.

We arrived safe in port; and in a few days the captain, who had a secret enterprise to take in hand, hired a country coasting vessel, and sent her seventeen leagues farther on the coast for orders from some factory or settlement there. I was one of the nine men who were destined to conduct her; but not understanding Portuguese, I knew little of the business we went upon. We were to coast it all the way; but on the tenth day, just at sunrise, we fell in with a fleet of boats which had waylaid us, and were taken prisoners. Being carried ashore, we were conducted a long way up the country, where we were imprisoned, and almost starved, though I never knew the meaning of it; nor did any of us, unless the mate, who, we heard, was carried up the country much farther, to Angola; but we never heard more of him, though we were told he would be sent back to us.

Here we remained under confinement almost three months, at the end of which time our keeper told us we were to be removed; and coupling us two and two together, sent a guard with us to Angola; when, crossing a large river, we were set to work in removing the rubbish and stones of a castle or fortress, which had been lately demolished by an earthquake and lightning. Here we continued about five months, being very sparingly dieted, and locked up every night.

This place, however, I thought a paradise to our former dungeon; and as we were not overworked, we made our lives comfortable enough, having the air all day to refresh us from the heat, and not wanting for company; for there were at least three hundred of us about the whole work; and I often fancied myself at the tower of Babel, each labourer almost speaking in a language of his own.

Towards the latter end of our work our keepers grew more and more remiss in their care of us. At my first coming thither, I had contracted a familiarity with one of the natives, but of a different kingdom, who was then a slave with me; and he and I being able tolerably to understand each other, he hinted to me, one day, the desire he had of seeing his own country and family, who neither knew whether he was dead or alive, or where he was, since he had left them, seven years before, to make war in this kingdom; and insinuated that as he had taken a great liking to me, if I would endeavour to escape with him, and we succeeded, he would provide for me. “For,” says he, “you see, now our work is almost over, we are but slightly guarded; and if we stay till this job is once finished, we may be commanded to some new works at the other end of the kingdom, for aught we know, so that our labours will only cease with our lives: and for my part, immediate death in the attempt of liberty is to me preferable to a lingering life of slavery.”

These, and such-like arguments, prevailed on me to accompany him, as he had told me he had travelled most of the country before in the wars of the different nations; so having taken our resolution, the following evening, soon after our day's work, and before the time came for locking up, we withdrew from the rest, but within hearing, thinking if we should then be missed and called, we would appear and make some excuse for our absence, but if not, we should have the whole night before us.

When we were first put upon this work, we were called over singly, by name, morning and evening, to be let out and in, and were very narrowly observed in our motions; but not one of us having been ever absent, our actions were at length much less minded than before, and the ceremony of calling us over was frequently omitted; so that we concluded if we got away unobserved the first night, we should be out of the reach of pursuers by the next; which was the soonest it was possible for them to overtake us, as we proposed to travel the first part of our journey with the utmost despatch.

CHAPTER VII.

     The author escapes with Glanlepze a native—Their hardships
     in travel—Plunder of a cottage—His fears—Adventure with a
     crocodile—Passage of a river—Adventure with a lioness and
     whelps—Arrive at Glanlepzis house—The trial of Glanlepze's
     wife's constancy—The tender meeting of her and her
     husband—The author's reflections thereupon.

Having now set out with all possible speed, we seemed to each other as joyful as we could; though it cannot be supposed we had no fears in our minds the first part of our journey, for we had many; but as our way advanced our fears subsided; and having, with scarce any delay, pushed forwards for the first twenty-four hours, nature then began to have two very pressing demands upon us, food and rest; but as one of them was absolutely out of our power to comply with, she contented herself with the other till we should be better able to supply her, and gave a farther time till the next day.

The next morning found us very empty and sharp-set, though a very sound night's rest had contributed its utmost to refresh us. But what added much to our discomfort was, that though our whole subsistence must come from fruits, there was not a tree to be found at a less distance than twelve leagues, in the open rocky country we were then in; but a good draught of excellent water we met with did us extraordinary service, and sent us with much better courage to the woods, though they were quite out of the way of our route: there, by divers kinds of fruits, which, though my companion knew very well, I was quite a stranger to, we satisfied our hunger for the present, and took a moderate supply for another opportunity. This retarded our journey very much, for in so hard travel every pound weighed six before night.

I cannot say this journey, though bad enough, would have been so discouraging, but for the trouble of fetching our provisions so far; and then, if we meant not to lose half the next day in the same manner, we must double load ourselves, and delay our progress by that means; but we still went on, and in about eight days got quite clear of Angola.

On the eighth day, my companion, whose name was Glanlepze, told me we were very near the confines of Congo, but there was one little village still in Angola by which we must pass within half a league; and if I would agree to it, he would go see what might be got here to supply ourselves with. I told him I was in an unknown world, and would follow wherever he should lead me; but asked him if he was not afraid of the people, as he was not of that country. He told me as there had been wars between them and his country for assisting their neighbours of Congo, he was not concerned for any mischief he should do them, or they him. “But,” says he, “you have a knife in your pocket, and with that we will cut two stout clubs, and then follow me and fear nothing.”

We soon cut our clubs, and marching on, in the midst of some small shrubs and a few scattering trees, we saw a little hovel, larger indeed, but worse contrived, than an English hog-stye, to which we boldly advanced; and Glanlepze entering first, saluted an old man who was lying on a parcel of rushes. The man attempted to run away, but Glanlepze stopped him, and we tied his hands and feet He then set up such a hideous howl, that had not Glanlepze threatened to murder him, and prepared to do it, he would have raised the whole village upon us; but we quieted him, and rummaging to find provision, which was all we wanted, we by good luck spied best part of a goat hanging up behind a large mat at the farther end of the room. By this time in comes a woman with two children, very small. This was the old man's daughter, of about five-and-twenty. Glanlepze bound her also, and laid her by the old man; but the two children we suffered to lie untied. We then examined her, who told us the old man was her father, and that her husband, having killed a goat that morning, was gone to carry part of it to his sister; that they had little or no corn; and finding we wanted victuals, she told us there was an earthen pot we might boil some of the goat in if we pleased.

Having now seen all that was to be had, we were going to make up our bundle, when a muletto very gently put his head into the doorway: him Glanlepze immediately seized; and bidding me fetch the great mat and the goat's flesh, he in the meantime put a long rope he found there about the beast's neck, and laying the mat upon him, we packed up the goat's flesh and a little corn in a calabash-shell; and then turning up the mat round about, skewered it together, and over all we tied the earthen pot; Glanlepze crying out at everything we loaded, “It is no hurt to plunder an enemy!” and so we marched off.

I own I had greater apprehensions from this adventure than from anything before. “For,” says I, “if the woman's husband returns soon, or if she or her father can release themselves, they will raise the whole village upon us, and we are undone.” But Glanlepze laughed at me, saying we had not an hour's walk out of the Angola dominions, and that the king of Congo was at war with them in helping the king of Loango, whose subject himself was; and that the Angolans durst not be seen out of their bounds on that side the kingdom; for there was a much larger village of Congovians in our way, who would certainly rise and destroy them, if they came in any numbers amongst them; and though the war being carried on near the sea, the borders were quiet, yet, upon the least stir, the whole country would be in arms, whilst we might retire through the woods very safely.

Well, we marched on as fast as we could all the remainder of that day till moonlight, close by the skirt of a long wood, that we might take shelter therein, if there should be occasion $ and my eyes were the best part of the way behind me; but neither hearing nor seeing anything to annoy us, and finding by the declivity of the ground we should soon be in some plain or bottom, and have a chance of water for us all, and pasture for our muletto, which was now become one of us, we would not halt till we found a bottom to the hill, which in half an hour more we came to, and in some minutes after to a rivulet of fine clear water, where we resolved to spend the night. Here we fastened our muletto by his cord to a stake in the ground; but perceiving him not to have sufficient range to fill his belly in before morning, we, under Glanlepze's direction, cut several long slips from the mat, and soaking them well in water, twisted them into a very strong cord, of sufficient length for the purpose. And now, having each of us brought a bundle of dry fallen sticks from the wood with us, and gathered two or three flints as we came along, we struck fire on my knife upon some rotten wood, and boiled a good piece of our goat's flesh; and having made such a meal as we had neither of us made for many months before, we laid us down and slept heartily till morning.

As soon as day broke we packed up our goods, and filling our calabash with water, we loaded our muletto, and got forward very pleasantly that day and several others following, and had tolerable lodgings.

About noon, one day, travelling with great glee, we met an adventure which very much daunted me, and had almost put a stop to my hopes of ever getting where I intended. We came to a great river whose name I have now forgot, near a league over, but full, and especially about the shores, of large trees that had fallen from the mountains and been rolled down with the floods, and lodged there in a shocking manner. This river, Glanlepze told me, we must pass: for my part, I shrunk at the sight of it, and told him if he could get over, I would not desire to prevent his meeting with his family; but as for my share, I had rather take my chance in the woods on this side than plunge myself into such a stream only for the sake of drowning. “Oh!” says Glanlepze, “then you can't swim?”—“No,” says I; “there's my misfortune.”—“Well,” says the kind Glanlepze, “be of good heart; I'll have you over.” He then bade me go cut an armful of the tallest of the reeds that grew there near the shore, whilst he pulled up another where he then was, and bring them to him. The side of the river sloped for a good way with an easy descent, so that it was very shallow where the reeds grew, and they stood very close together upon a large compass of ground. I had no sooner entered the reeds a few yards, to cut some of the longest, but (being about knee-deep in the water and mud, and every step raising my feet very high to keep them clear of the roots, which were matted together) I thought I had trod upon a trunk of one of the trees, of which, as I said, there was such plenty thereabouts; and raising my other foot to get that also upon the tree, as I fancied it, I found it move along with me; upon which I roared out, when Glanlepze, who was not far from me, imagining what was the matter, cried out, “Leap off, and run to shore to the right!” I knew not yet what was the case, but did what I was bid, and gained the shore. Looking back, I perceived the reeds shake and rustle all the way to the shore, by degrees after me. I was terribly frightened, and ran to Glanlepze, who then told me the danger I had escaped, and that what I took for a tree was certainly a large alligator or crocodile.

My blood ran chill within me at hearing the name of such a dangerous creature; but he had no sooner told me what it was, than out came the most hideous monster I had ever seen. Glanlepze ran to secure the muletto; and then taking the cord which had fastened him, and tying it to each end of a broken arm of a tree that lay on the shore, he marched up to the crocodile without the least dismay, and beginning near the tail, with one leg on one side, and the other on the other side, he straddled over him, still mending his pace as the beast crept forward, till he came to his fore-feet; then throwing the great log before his mouth, he, by the cord in his hand, bobbed it against the creature's nose, till he gaped wide enough to have taken in the muletto; then of a sudden, jerking the wood between his jaws with all his force by the cord, he gagged the beast, with his jaws wide open up to his throat, so that he could neither make use of his teeth nor shut his mouth; he then threw one, end of the cord upon the ground, just before the creature's under-jaw, which, as he by degrees crept along over it, came out behind his fore-legs on the contrary side; and serving the other end of it in the same manner, he took up those ends and tied them over the creature's back, just within his forelegs, which kept the gag firm in his mouth; and then calling out to me (for I stood at a good distance), “Peter,” says he, “bring me your knife!” I trembled at going so near, for the crocodile was turning his head this way and that very uneasy, and wanting to get to the river again, but yet I carried it, keeping as much behind him as I could, still eyeing him which way he moved, and at length tossed my knife so near that Glanlepze could reach it; and he, just keeping behind the beast's forefeet, and leaning forward, first darted the knife into one eye, and then into the other; and immediately leaping from his back, came running to me. “So, Peter,” says he, “I have done the business.”—“Aye! business enough, I think,” says I, “and more than I would have done to have been king of Congo.”—“Why, Peter,” says he, “there is nothing but a man may compass by resolution, if he takes both ends of a thing in his view at once, and fairly deliberates on both sides what may be given and taken from end to end. What you have seen me perform is only from a thorough notion I have of this beast and of myself, how far each of us hath power to act and counteract upon the other, and duly applying the means. But,”, says he, “this talk will not carry us across the river; come, here are the reeds I have pulled up, which I believe will be sufficient without any more, for I would not overload the muletto.”—“Why,” says I, “is the muletto to carry them?”—“No, they are to carry you,” says he.—“I can never ride upon these,” says I.—“Hush!” says he, “I'll not lose you, never fear. Come, cut me a good tough stick, the length of these reeds.”—“Well,” says I, “this is all conjuration; but I don't see a step towards my getting over the river yet, unless I am to ride the muletto upon these reeds, and guide myself with the stick.”

“I must own, Peter,” says he, “you have a bright guess.” So taking an armful of the reeds, and laying them on the ground, “Now, Peter,” says he, “lay that stick upon those reeds and tie them tight at both ends.” I did so. “Now, Peter,” says he, “lay yourself down upon them.” I then laying myself on my back, lengthwise, upon the reeds, Glanlepze laughed heartily at me, and turning me about, brought my breast upon the reeds at the height of my arm-pits; and then taking a handful of the reeds he had reserved by themselves, he laid them on my back, tying them to the bundle close at my shoulders, and again at the ends. “Now, Peter,” says he, “stand up;” which I did, but it was full as much as I could do. I then seeing Glanlepze laughing at the figure I cut, desired him to be serious, and not put me upon losing my life for a joke; for I could not think what he would do next with me. He bid me never fear; and looking more soberly, ordered me to walk to the river, and so stand just within the bank till he came; then leading the muletto to me, he tied me to her, about a yard from the tail, and taking the cord in his hand, led the muletto and me into the water. We had not gone far before my guide began to swim, then the muletto and I were presently chin-deep, and I expected nothing but drowning every moment: however, having gone so far, I was ashamed to cry out; when getting out of my depth, and my reeds coming to their bearing, up I mounted, and was carried on with all the ease imaginable; my conductor guiding us between the trees so dexterously, that not one accident happened to either of us all the way, and we arrived safe on the opposite shore.

We had now got into a very low, close, swampy country, and our goat's flesh began to be very stale through the heat, not only of the sun, but the muletto's back: however, we pleased ourselves we should have one more meal of it before it was too bad to eat; so, having travelled about three miles from the river, we took up our lodging on a little rising, and tied our muletto in a valley about half a furlong below us, where he made as good a meal in his way as we did in ours.

We had but just supped, and were sauntering about to find the easiest spot to sleep on, when we heard a rustling and a grumbling noise in a small thicket just on our right, which seeming to approach nearer and nearer, Glanlepze roused himself, and was on his legs just time enough to see a lioness and a small whelp which accompanied her, within thirty yards of us, making towards us, as we afterwards guessed, for the sake of our goat's flesh, which now smelt very strong. Glanlepze whipped on the contrary side of the fire to that where the goat's flesh lay, and fell to kicking the fire about at a great rate, which being made of dry wood, caused innumerable sparks to fly about us; but the beasts still approaching in a couchant manner, and seizing the ribs of the goat and other bones (for we had only cut the flesh off), and grumbling and cracking them like rotten twigs, Glanlepze snatched up a fire-brand, flaming, in each hand, and made towards them; which sight so terrified the creatures that they fled with great precipitation to the thicket again.

Glanlepze was a little uneasy at the thoughts of quitting so good a lodging as we had found, but yet held it best to move farther; for as the lions had left the bones behind them, we must expect another visit if we stayed there, and could hope for no rest; and, above all, we might possibly lose our muletto; so we removed our quarters two miles farther, where we slept with great tranquillity.

Reflections on the nature of mankind have often astonished me. I told you at first my thoughts concerning prayer in my journey to Bristol, and of the benefit I received from it, and how fully I was convinced of the necessity of it; which one would think was a sufficient motive to a reasonable creature to be constant in it; and yet, it is too true that, notwithstanding the difficulties I had laboured under, and hardships I had undergone, and the danger of starving at sea or being murdered for food by my fellows, when there was as urgent a necessity of begging Divine assistance as can be conceived, I never once thought of it, nor of the Object of it, nor returned thanks for my being delivered, till the lioness had just left me; and then I felt near the same force urging me to return thanks for my escape, as I had impelling me to prayer before; and I think I did so with great sincerity.

I shall not trouble you with a relation of the common accidents of our journey, which lasted two months and better, nor with the different methods we used to get subsistence, but shall at once conduct you to Quamis; only mentioning that we were sometimes obliged to go about, and were once stopped by a cut that my guide and companion received by a ragged stone in his foot, which growing very bad, almost deprived me of the hopes of his life; but by rest and constant sucking and licking it, which was the only remedy we had to apply, except green leaves chewed, that I laid to it by his direction, to supple and cool it, he soon began to be able to ride upon the muletto, and sometimes to walk a little.

I say we arrived at Quamis, a small place on a river of that name, where Glanlepze had a neat dwelling, and left a wife and five children when he went out to the wars. We were very near the town when the day closed; and as it is soon dark there after sunset, you could but just see your hand at our entrance into it We met nobody in the way, but I went directly to Glanlepze's door, by his direction, and struck two or three strokes hard against it with my stick. On this there came a woman to it stark-naked. I asked her, in her own language, if she knew one Glanlepze. She told me, with a deep sigh, that once she did. I asked then where he was. She said, with their ancestors, she hoped, for he was the greatest warrior in the world; but if he was not dead, he was in slavery. Now you must know Glanlepze had a mind to hear how his wife took his death or slavery, and had put me upon asking these questions before he discovered himself. I proceeded then to tell her I brought some news of Glanlepze, and was lately come from him, and by his order. “And does my dear Glanlepze live!” says she, flying upon my neck, and almost smothering me with caresses, till I begged her to forbear, or she would strangle me, and I had a great deal more to tell her; then ringing for a light, when she saw I was a white man she seemed in the utmost confusion at her own nakedness; and immediately retiring, she threw a cloth round her waist and came to me again. I then repeated to her that her husband was alive and well, but wanted a ransom to redeem himself, and had sent me to see what she could anyways raise for that purpose. She told me she and her children had lived very hardly ever since he went from her, and she had nothing to sell, or make money of, but her five children; that as this was the time for the slaving-trade, she would see what she could raise by them, and if that would not do, she would sell herself and send him the money, if he would let her know how to do it.

Glanlepze, who heard every word that passed, finding so strong a proof of his wife's affection, could hold out no longer, but bursting into the room, clasped her in his arms, crying, “No, Zulika! (for that was her name) I am free; there will be no occasion for your or my dear children's slavery, and rather than have purchased my freedom at that rate, I would willingly have died a slave myself. But my own ears have heard the tender sentiments my Zulika has for me.” Then, drowned in tears of joy, they embraced each other so close and so long, that I thought it impertinent to be seen with them till their first transports were over. So I retired without the house, till Glanlepze called me in, which was not less than full half an hour. I admired at the love and constancy of the person I had just left behind me; and, Good Heaven, thinks I to myself, with a sigh, how happy has this our escape rendered Glanlepze and his wife! what a mutual felicity do they feel! And what is the cause of all this? Is it that he has brought home great treasures from the wars? Nothing like it; he is come naked. Is it that, having escaped slavery and poverty, he is returned to an opulent wife, abounding with the good things of life? No such thing. What, then, can be the cause of this excess of satisfaction, this alternate joy, that Patty and I could not have been as happy with each other? Why, it was my pride that interposed and prevented it. But what am I like to get by it, and by all this travel and these hazards? Is this the way to make a fortune, to get an estate? No, surely the very contrary. I could not, forsooth, labour for Patty and her children where I was known; but am I any better for labouring here where I am not known, where I have nobody to assist me, than I could have been where I am known, and where there would have been my friends about me, at least, if they could have afforded no great assistance? I have been deceived, then, and have travelled so many thousand miles, and undergone so many dangers, only to know at last I had been happier at home; and have doubled my misery for want of consideration—that very consideration which, impartially taken, would have convinced me I ought to have made the best of my bad circumstances, and to have laid hold of every commendable method of improving them. Did I come hither to avoid daily labour or voluntary servitude at home? I have had it in abundance. Did I come hither to avoid poverty or contempt? Here I have met with them tenfold And now, after all, was I to return home empty and naked, as Glanlepze has done, should I meet a wife, as bare as myself, so ready to die in my embraces, and to be a slave herself, with her children, for my sake only? I fear not.

These and the like reflections had taken possession of me when Glanlepze called me in; where I found his wife, in her manner, preparing our supper, with all that cheerfulness which gives a true lustre to innocence.

The bustle we made had by this time awakened the children; who, stark-naked as they were born, both boys and girls, came crawling out, black as jet, from behind a curtain at the farther end of the room, which was very long. The father as yet had only inquired after them; but upon sight of them he fell into an ecstasy, kissing one, stroking another, dandling a third, for the eldest was scarce fourteen; but not one of them knew him, for seven years makes a great chasm in young memories. The more I saw of this sport, the stronger impression Patty and my own children made upon me. My mind had been so much employed on my own distresses, that those dear ideas were almost effaced; but this moving scene introduced them afresh, and imprinted them deeply on my imagination, which cherished the sweet remembrance.

CHAPTER VIII.

     How the author passed his time with Glanlepze—His
     acquaintance with some English prisoners—They project an
     escape—He joins them—They seize a Portuguese ship and get
     off.—Make a long run from land—Want water—They anchor at
     a desert island—The boat goes on shore for water—They
     lose their anchor in a storm—The author and one Adams drove
     to sea—A miraculous passage to a rock—Adams drowned there—
     The author's miserable condition

I passed my time with Glanlepze and his wife, who both really loved me, with sufficient bodily quiet, for about two years: my business was chiefly, in company with my patron, to cultivate a spot of ground wherein we had planted grain and necessaries for the family; and once or twice a week we went a fishing, and sometimes hunted and shot venison. These were our chief employments; for as to excursions for slaves, which is a practice in many of those countries, and what the natives get money by, since our own slavery, Glanlepze and I could not endure it.

Though I was tolerably easy in my external circumstances, yet my mind hankering after England made my life still: unhappy; and that infelicity daily increased as I saw the less probability of attaining my desire. At length, hearing of some European sailors who were under confinement for contraband trade at a Portuguese fort about two miles from Quamis, I resolved to go to see them; and if any of them should be English, at least to inquire after my native country. I went and found two Dutchmen who had been sailors in British pay several years, three Scotchmen, an Irishman, and five Englishmen, but all had been long in English merchants' service. They were taken, as they told me, by a Portuguese vessel, together with their ship, as a Dutch prize under pretence of contraband trade. The captain was known to be a Dutchman, though he spoke good English, and was then in English pay and his vessel English; therefore they would have it that he was a Dutch trader, and so seized his ship in the harbour, with the prisoners in it The captain, who was on shore with several of his men, was threatened to be laid in irons if he was taken, which obliged him and his men to abscond, and fly overland to an English factory for assistance to recover his ship and cargo; being afraid to appear and claim it amongst so many enemies without an additional force. They had been in confinement two months, and their ship confiscated and sold. In this miserable condition I left them, but returned once or twice a week for a fortnight or three weeks to visit them. These instances of regard, as they thought them, created some confidence in me, so that they conversed with me very freely. Amongst other discourse, they told me one day that one of their crew who went with the captain had been taken ill on the way, and being unable to proceed, was returned; but as he talked good Portuguese, he was not suspected to belong to them; and that he had been to visit them, and would be there again that day. I had a mind to see him, so stayed longer than I intended, and in about an hour's time he came. After he was seated he asked who I was, and (privately) if I might be trusted. Being satisfied I might, for that I was a Cornish man, he began as follows, looking narrowly about to see he was not overheard: “My lads,” says he, “be of good courage; I have hopes for you; be but men and we shall see better days yet.” I wondered to what this preface tended, when he told us that since his return from the captain, as he spoke good Portuguese and had sailed on board Portuguese traders several years, he mixed among that people, and particularly among the crew of the “Del Cruz,” the ship which had taken them; that that ship had partly unloaded, and was taking in other goods for a future voyage; that he had informed himself of their strength, and that very seldom more than three men and two boys lay on board; that he had hired himself to the captain, and was to go on board the very next day. “Now,” says he, “my lads, if you can break prison any night after to-morrow, and come directly to the ship (telling them how she lay, for, says he, you cannot mistake, you will find two or three boats moored in the gut against the church), I will be ready to receive you, and we will get off with her in lieu of our ship they have taken from us, for there is nothing ready to follow us.”

The prisoners listened to this discourse very attentively; but scratched their heads, fearing the difficulty of it, and severer usage if they miscarried, and made several objections; but at last they all swore to attempt it the night but one following. Upon which the sailor went away to prepare for their reception on board. After he was gone, I surveyed his scheme attentively in my own mind, and found it not so difficult as I first imagined, if the prisoners could but escape cleverly. So before I went away I told them I approved of their purpose; and as I was their countryman, I was resolved, with their leaves, to risk my fortune with them. At this they seemed much pleased, and all embraced me. We then fixed the peremptory night, and I was to wait at the water-side and get the boats in readiness.

The prison they were in was a Portuguese fort, which had been deserted ever since the building a much better on the other side of the river, a gunshot lower. It was built with walls too thick for naked men to storm; the captives were securely locked up every night; and two soldiers, or sentinels, kept watch in an outer-room, who were relieved from the main-guard in the body of the building.

The expected night arrived, and a little before midnight, as had been concerted, one of the prisoners cried out he was so parched up he was on fire, he was on fire! The sentinels were both asleep, but the first that waked called at the door to know what was the matter. The prisoner still crying out, “I am on fire!” the rest begged the sentinel to bring a bowl of water for him, for they knew not what ailed him.

The good-natured fellow, without waking his companion, brought the water, and having a lamp in the guard-room, opened the door; when the prisoners seizing his arms, and commanding him to silence, bound his hands behind him, and his feet together; then serving the other in the same manner, who was now just awake, and taking from them their swords and muskets, they made the best of their way over the fort wall; which being built with buttresses on the inside was easily surmounted. Being got out, they were not long in finding me, who had before this time made the boats ready and was impatiently waiting for them; so in we all got and made good speed to the ship, where we were welcomed by our companion ready to receive us.

Under pretence of being a new-entered sailor, he had carried some Madeira wine on board, and treated the men and boys so freely that he had thrown them into a dead sleep, which was a wise precaution. There being now, therefore, no fear of disturbance or interruption, we drew up the two boats and set all hands at work to put the ship under way; and plied it so closely, the wind favouring us, that by eleven o'clock the next morning we were out of sight of land; but we set the men and boys adrift, in one of the boats, nigh the mouth of the river.

The first thing we did after we had made a long run from shore was to consult what course to steer. Now, as there was a valuable loading on board of goods from Portugal and others taken in since, some gave their opinion for sailing directly for India, selling the ship and cargo there and returning by some English vessel; but that was rejected; for we did not doubt but notice would be given of our escape along the coast, and if we should fall into the Portuguese's hands, we could expect no mercy; besides, we had not people sufficient for such an enterprise. Others, again, were for sailing the directest course for England; but I told them, as our opinions were different, and no time was to be lost, my advice was to stretch southward till we might be quite out of fear of pursuit, and then, whatever course we took, by keeping clear of all coasts, we might hope to come safe off.

My proposal seemed to please the whole crew; so crowding all the sail we could, we pushed southwards very briskly before the wind for several days. We now went upon examining our stores, and found we had flour enough, plenty of fish and salt provisions, but were scant of water and wood; of the first whereof there was not half a ton, and but very little of the latter. This made us very uneasy, and being none of us expert in navigation farther than the common working of the ship, and having no chart on board that might direct us to the nearest land, we were almost at our wits' end, and came to a short allowance of liquor. That we must get water if we could was indisputable; but where to do it puzzled us, as we had determined not to get in with the African shore on any account whatever.

In this perplexity, and under the guidance of different opinions (for we were all captains now), we sometimes steered eastward, and sometimes westward, for about nine days, when we espied a little bluish cloud-like appearance to the southwest; this continuing, we hoped it might be land, and therefore made to it. Upon our nearer approach we found it to be, as we judged, an island; but not knowing its name or whether it was inhabited, we coasted round it two days to satisfy ourselves as to this last particular. Seeing no living creature on it during that time, and the shore being very broken, we came to an anchor about two miles from it, and sent ten of our crew in our best boat with some casks to get water and cut wood. The boat returned at night with six men and the casks filled, having left four behind to go on with the cutting of wood against next day. Accordingly next morning the boat went off again and made two turns with water and wood ere night, which was repeated for two or three days after. On the sixth she went off for wood only, leaving none but me and one John Adams on board.

The boat had scarce reached the island this last turn before the day overcast, and there arose such a storm of wind, thunder, lightning, and hail as I had never before seen. At last our cable broke close to the anchor, and away we went with the wind full southward by west; and not having strength to keep the ship upon a side wind, we were forced to set her head right before it and let her drive. Our hope was, every hour, the storm would abate; but it continued with equal violence for many days, during all which time neither Adams nor I had any rest, for one or other of us was forced, and sometimes both, to keep her right before the wind, or she would certainly have overset. When the storm abated, as it did by degrees, neither Adams nor I could tell where we were, or in what part of the world.

I was sorry I had no better a sailor with me, for neither Adams nor myself had ever made more than one voyage till now, so that we were both unacquainted with the latitude, and scarce knew the use of the compass to any purpose; and being out of all hope of ever reaching the island to our companions, we neither knew which way to steer, nor what to do; and indeed had we known where we were, we two only could not have been able to navigate the ship to any part we desired, or ever to get to the island, unless such a wind as we had before would of itself have driven us thither.

Whilst we were considering, day after day, what to do, though the sea was now very calm and smooth, the ship seemed to sail at as great a rate as before, which we attributed to the velocity she had acquired by the storm, or to currents that had set that way by the violence of the winds. Contenting ourselves with this, we expected all soon to be right again; and as we had no prospect of ever seeing our companions, we kept the best look-out we could to see for any vessel coming that course which might take us in, and resolved to rest all our hopes upon that.

When we had sailed a good while after this manner, we knew not whither, Adams called out, “I see land!” My heart leapt within me for joy, and we hoped the current that seemed to carry us so fast set in for some islands or rivers that lay before us. But still we were exceedingly puzzled at the ship's making such way, and the nearer we approached the land, which was now very visible, the more speed the ship made, though there was no wind stirring. We had but just time to think on this unexpected phenomenon, when we found that what we had taken for land was a rock of an extraordinary height, to which, as we advanced nearer, the ship increased its motion, and all our strength could not make her answer her rudder any other way. This put us under the apprehension of being dashed to pieces immediately, and in less than half an hour I verily thought my fears had not been groundless. Poor Adams told me he would try when the ship struck if he could leap upon the rock, and ran to the head for that purpose; but I was so fearful of seeing my danger that I ran under hatches, resolving to sink in the ship. We had no sooner parted but I felt so violent a shock that I verily thought the ship had brought down the whole rock upon her, and been thereby dashed to pieces, so that I never more expected to see the light.

I lay under this terror for at least half an hour, waiting the ship's either filling with water or bulging every moment. But finding neither motion in her nor any water rise, nor the least noise whatsoever, I ventured with an aching heart from my retreat, and stole up the hatchway as if an enemy had been on deck, peeping first one way then another. Here nothing presented but confusion, the rock hung over the hatchway at about twenty feet above my head, our foremast lay by the board, the mainmast yard-arm was down, and great part of the mainmast snapped off with it, and almost everything upon deck was displaced. This sight shocked me extremely; and calling for Adams, in whom I hoped to find some comfort, I was too soon convinced I had lost him.

Wilkins thinks of destroying himself—His soliloquy—Strange accident in the hold—His surprise—Cannot climb the rock—His method to sweeten his water—Lives many months on board—-Ventures to sea in his boat several times, and takes many fish—Almost overcome by an eel.

CHAPTER IX.

After I had stood a while in the utmost confusion of thought, and my spirits began to be a little composed, I was resolved to see what damage the hull of the ship had received. Accordingly I looked narrowly, but could find none, only she was immovably fixed in a cleft of the rock, like a large archway, and there stuck so fast, that though upon fathoming I could find no bottom, she never moved in the least by the working of the water.

I now began to look upon Adams as a happy man, being delivered by an immediate death from such an inextricable scene of distress, and wished myself with him a thousand times. I had a great mind to have followed him into the other world; yet I know not how it is, there is something so abhorrent to human nature in self-murder, be one's condition what it will, that I was soon determined on the contrary side. Now again I perceived that the Almighty had given me a large field to expatiate in upon the trial of His creatures, by bringing them into imminent dangers ready to overwhelm them, and at the same time, as it were, hanging out the flag of truce and mercy to them. These thoughts brought me to my knees, and I poured out my soul to God in a strain of humiliation, resignation to His will, and earnest petitions for deliverance or support in this distress. Having finished, I found myself in a more composed frame; so having eaten a biscuit and drank a can of water, and not seeing anything to be done whereby I could better my condition, I sat me down upon the deck, and fell into the following soliloquy—

Peter, says I, what have you to do here?—Alas! replied I to myself, I am fixed against my will in this dismal mansion, destined, as rats might be, to devour the provisions only, and having eaten all up, to perish with hunger for want of a supply.—Then, says I, of what use are you in the world, Peter?—Truly, answered I, of no other use that I can see but to be an object of misery for Divine vengeance to work upon, and to show what a deplorable state human nature can be reduced to; for I cannot think any one else can be so wretched.—And again, Peter, says I, what have you been doing ever since you came into the world?—I am afraid, says I, I can answer no better to this question than to either of the former; for if only reasonable actions are to be reckoned among my doings, I am sure I have done little worth recording; for let me see what it all amounts to. I spent my first sixteen years in making a fool of my mother; my three next in letting her make a fool of me, and in being fool enough myself to get me a wife and two children before I was twenty. The next year was spent in finding out the misery of slavery from experience. Two years more I repined at the happiness of my benefactor, and at finding it was not my lot to enjoy the same. This year is not yet spent, and how many more are to come, and where they may be passed, and what they may produce, requires a better head than mine even to guess at; but certainly my present situation seems to promise nothing beside woe and misery.—But hold a little, says I, and let me clearly state my own wretchedness. I am here, it is true; but for any good I have ever done or any advantage I have reaped in other places, I am as well here as anywhere. I have no present want of food or unjust or cruel enemy to annoy me; so as long as the ship continues entire and provisions last, I shall do tolerably. Then why should I grieve or terrify myself about what may come? What my frighted imagination suggests may perhaps never happen. Deliverance, though not to be looked for, is yet possible; and my future fate may be as different from my present condition as this is from the hopes with which I lately flattered myself. And why, after all, may I not die a natural death here as well as anywhere? All mankind die, and then there is an end of all——An end of all! did I say? No, there is something within that gives me the lie when I say so. Let me see; Death, my master used to say, is not an end, but a beginning of real life: and may it not be so? May I not as well undergo a change from this to a different state of life when I leave this world, as be born into it I know not from whence? Who sent me into this world? Who framed me of two natures so unlike, that death cannot destroy but one of them? It must be the Almighty God. But all God's works tend to some end; and if He has given me an immortal nature, it must be His intention that I should live somewhere and somehow for ever. May not this stage of being then be only an introduction to a preparative for another? There is nothing in this supposition repugnant to reason. Upon the whole, if God is the author of my being, He only has a right to dispose of it, and I may not put an end thereto without His leave. It is no less true that my continuing therein during His pleasure, and because it is so, may turn vastly to my advantage in His good time; it may be the means of my becoming happy for even when it is His will that I go hence. It is no less probable that, dismal as my present circumstances appear, I may be even now the object of a kind Providence: God may be leading me by affliction to repentance of former crimes; destroying those sensual affections that have all my days kept me from loving and serving Him. I will therefore submit myself to His will, and hope for His mercy.

These thoughts, and many others I then had, composed me very much, and by degrees reconciled me to my destined solitude. I walked my ship, of which I was now both master and owner, and employed myself in searching how it was fastened to the rock, and where it rested; but all to no purpose as to that particular. I then struck a light and went into the hold, to see what I could find useful, for we had never searched the ship since we took her.

In the hold I found abundance of long iron bars, which I suppose were brought out to be trafficked with the blacks. I observed they lay all with one end close to the head of the ship, which I presumed was occasioned by the violent shock they received when she struck against the rock; but seeing one short bar lying out beyond the rest, though touching at the end of one of the long bars, I thought to take it up, and lay it on the heap with the others; but the moment I had raised the end next the other bars, it flew out of my hand with such violence, against the head of the ship, and with such a noise, as greatly surprised me, and put me in fear it had broke through the plank.

I just stayed to see no harm was done, and ran upon deck with my hair stiff on my head; nor could I conceive less than that some subtle spirit had done this prank merely to terrify me.

It ran in my pate several days, and I durst upon no account have gone into the hold again, though my whole support had lain there; nay, it even spoiled my rest, for fear something tragical should befall me, of which this amazing incident was an omen.

About a week after, as I was shifting myself (for I had not taken my clothes off since I came there), and putting on a new pair of shoes which I found on board, my own being very bad, taking out my iron buckles, I laid one of them upon a broken piece of the mast that I sat upon; when to my astonishment, it was no sooner out of my hand but up it flew to the rock and stuck there. I could not tell what to make of it, but was sorry the devil had got above deck. I then held several other things one after another in my hand, and laid them down where I laid the buckle, but nothing stirred till I took out the fellow of that from the shoes; when letting it go away, it jumped also to the rock.

I mused on these phenomena for some time, and could not forbear calling upon God to protect me from the devil; who must, as I imagined, have a hand in such unaccountable things as they then seemed to me. But at length reason got the better of these foolish apprehensions, and I began to think there might be some natural cause of them, and next to be very desirous of finding it out In order to this I set about making experiments to try what would run to the rock and what would not. I went into the captain's cabin, and opening a cupboard, of which the key was in the door, I took out a pipe, a bottle, a pocket-book, a silver spoon, a tea-cup, &c, and laid them successively near the rock; when none of them answered, but the key which I had brought out of the cupboard on my finger dropping off while I was thus employed, no sooner was it disengaged but away it went to it. After that I tried several other pieces of iron-ware with the like success. Upon this, and the needle of my compass standing stiff to the rock, I concluded that this same rock contained great quantity of loadstone, or was itself one vast magnet, and that our lading of iron was the cause of the ship's violent course thereto, which I mentioned before.

This quite satisfied me as to my notions of spirits, and gave me a more undisturbed night's rest than I had had before, so that now, having nothing to affright me, I passed the time tolerably well in my solitude, as it grew by degrees familiar to me.

I had often wished it had been possible for me to climb the rock, but it was so smooth in many places and craggy in others, and over-hanging, continuing just the same to the right and left of me as far as ever I could see, that from the impossibility of it, I discharged all thoughts of such an attempt.

I had now lived on board three months, and perceived the days grow shorter and shorter, till, having lost the sun for a little time, they were quite dark: that is, there was no absolute daylight, or indeed visible distinction between day and night; though it was never so dark but I could see well enough upon deck to go about.

What now concerned me the most was my water, which began to grow very bad (though I had plenty of it) and unsavoury, so that I could scarce drink it, but had no prospect of better. Now and then indeed it snowed a little, which I made some use of, but this was far from contenting me. Hereupon I began to contrive; and having nothing else to do, I set two open vessels upon deck, and drawing water from the hold I filled one of my vessels, and letting it stand a day and a night I poured it into the other, and so shifted it every twenty-four hours; this, I found, though it did not bring it to the primitive taste and render it altogether palatable, was nevertheless a great help to it, by incorporating the fresh air with it, so that it became very potable, and this method I constantly used with my drinking-water, so long as I stayed on board the ship.

It had now been sharp weather for some time, and the cold still increasing, this put me upon rummaging the ship farther than ever I thought to do before; when opening a little cabin under deck, I found a large cargo of fine French brandy, a great many bottles, and some small casks of Madeira wine, with divers cordial waters. Having tasted these, and taken out a bottle or two of brandy, and some Madeira, I locked up my door and looked no farther that time.

The next day I inquired into my provisions, and some of my flesh having soaked out the pickle, I made fresh pickle and closed it up again. I that day also found several cheeses cased up in lead, one of which I then opened and dined upon: but what time of day or night it was when I eat this meal I could not tell. I found a great many chests well filled, and one or two of tools which some years after stood me in a very good stead, though I did not expect they would ever be of that service when I first met with them.

In this manner I spent my time till I began to see broad daylight again, which cheered me greatly. I had been often put in hopes during the dark season that ships were coming towards me, and that I should once more have the conversation of mankind, for I had by the small glimmering seen many large bodies (to my thinking) move at a little distance from me, and particularly toward the reappearing of the light, but though I hallooed as loud as I could, and often fired my gun, I never received an answer.

When the light returned, my days increased in proportion as they had before decreased; and gathering comfort from that, I determined to launch my small boat and to coast along the island, as I judged it, to see if it was inhabited and by whom; I determined also to make me some lines for fishing, and carry my gun to try for other game, if I found a place for landing; for though I had never, since my arrival, seen a single living creature but my cat, except insects, of which there were many in the water and in the air before the dark weather, and then began to appear again, yet I could not but think there were both birds and beasts to be met with.

Upon launching my boat I perceived she was very leaky, so I let her fill and continue thus a week or more to stop her cracks, then getting down the side of my ship I scooped her quite dry and found her very fit for use; so putting on board my gun, lines, brandy bottles, and clothes chest for a seat, with some little water and provisions for a week, I once more committed myself to the sea, having taken all the observation I could to gain my ship again if any accident should happen, though I resolved upon no account to quit sight of the rock willingly.

I had not rowed very long before I thought I saw an island to my right about a league distant, to which I inclined to steer my course, the sea being very calm; but upon surveying it nearer, I found it only a great cake of ice, about forty yards high above the water and a mile or two in length. I then concluded that what I had before taken for ships were only these lumps of ice. Being thus disappointed as to my island, I made what haste I could back to the rock again and coasted part of its circumference; but though I had gone two or three leagues of its circuit, the prospect it afforded was just the same.

I then tried my lines by fastening several very long ones, made of the log-line, to the side of the boat, baiting them with several different baits, but took only one fish of about four pounds weight, very much resembling a haddock, part of which I dressed for my supper after my return to the ship, and it proved very good. Towards evening I returned to my home, as I may call it.

The next day I made a voyage on the other side of the rock, though but to a small distance from the ship, with intent only to fish, but took nothing. I had then a mind to victual my boat or little cruiser, and prepare myself for a voyage of two or three days, which I thought I might safely undertake, as I had never seen a troubled sea since I came to the island; for though I heard the wind often roaring over my head, yet it coming always from the land-side, it never disturbed the water near the shore. I set out the same way I went at first, designing to sail two or three days out and as many home again, and resolved if possible to fathom the depth as I went. With this view I prepared a very long line with a large shot tied in a rag at the end of it, by way of plummet, but I felt no ground till the second night The next morning I came into thirty fathom water, then twenty, then sixteen. In both tours I could perceive no abatement in the height or steepness of the rock.

In about fourteen fathom water I dropped my lines, and lay by for an hour or two. Feeling several jars as I sat on my chest in the boat, I was sure I had caught somewhat, so pulling up my lines successively, I brought first a large eel near six feet long and almost as thick as my thigh, whose mouth, throat, and fins, were of a fine scarlet, and the belly as white as snow: he was so strong while in the water, and weighty, I had much ado to get him into the boat, and then had a harder job to kill him; for though, having a hatchet with me to cut wood in case I met with any landing-place, I chopped off his head the moment I had him on board, yet he had several times after that have like to have broken my legs and beat me overboard before I had quite taken his life from him, and had I not whipped off his tail and also divided his body into two or three pieces, I could not have mastered him. The next I pulled up was a thick fish like a tench, but of another colour and much bigger. I drew up several others, flat and long fish, till I was tired with the sport; and then I set out for the ship again, which I reached the third day.

During this whole time, I had but one shot, and that was as I came homewards, at a creature I saw upon a high crag of the rock, which I fired at with ball, fearing that my small shot would not reach it The animal, being mortally wounded, bounded up, and came tumbling down the rock, very near me. I picked it up, and found it to be a creature not much unlike our rabbits, but with shorter ears, a longer tail, and hoofed like a kid, though it had the perfect fluck of a rabbit I put it into my boat, to contemplate on when I arrived at the ship; and, plying my oars, got safe, as I said, on the third day.

I made me a fire to cook with as soon as I had got my cargo out of the boat into my ship, but was under debate which of my dainties to begin upon. I had sometimes a mind to have broiled my rabbit, as I called it, and boiled some of my fish; but being tired, I hung up my flesh till the next day, and boiled two or three sorts of my fish, to try which was best. I knew not the nature of most of them, so I boiled a piece of my eel, to be sure, judging that, however I might like the others, I should certainly be able to make a good meal of that. This variety being ready, I took a little of my oil out of the hold for sauce, and sat down to my meal, as satisfied as an emperor. But upon tasting my several messes, though the eel was rather richer than the smaller fishes, yet the others were all so good, I gave them the preference for that time, and laid by the rest of the eel, and of the other fish, till the next day, when I salted them for future use.

I kept now a whole week or more at home, to look farther into the contents of the ship, bottle off a cask of Madeira, which I found leaking, and to consume my new stores of fish and flesh, which, being somewhat stale when first salted, I thought would not keep so well as the old ones that were on board. I added also some fresh bread to my provision, and sweetened more water by the aforementioned method; and when my necessary domestic affairs were brought under, I then projected a new voyage.

CHAPTER X.

     Lays in great store of provisions—Resolves to traverse the
     rock—Sails for three weeks, still seeing it only—Is sucked
     under the rock, and hurried down a cataract—Continues there
     five weeks—His description of the cavern—His thoughts and
     difficulties—His arrival at a great lake—And his landing
     in the beautiful country of Graundevolet

I had for a long time wanted to see the other side of the rock, and at last resolved to try if I could not coast it quite round; for, as I reasoned with myself, I might possibly find some landing-places, and perhaps a convenient habitation on shore. But as I was very uncertain what time that might take up, I determined on having provisions, instruments of divers kinds, and necessary utensils in plenty, to guard against accidents as well as I could. I therefore took another sea-chest out of the hold of the ship, and letting it into my boat, replenished it with a stock of wine, brandy, oil, bread, and the like, sufficient for a considerable voyage. I also filled a large cask with water, and took a good quantity of salt to cure what fish I should take by the way. I carried two guns, two brace of pistols, and other arms, with ammunition proportionable; also an axe or two, a saw to cut wood if I should see any, and a few other tools, which might be highly serviceable if I could land. To all these I added an old sail, to make a covering for my goods and artillery against the weather. Thus furnished and equipped, having secured my hatches on board, and everything that might spoil by wet, I set out, with a God's speed, on my expedition, committing myself once more to Providence and the main ocean, and proceeding the same way I went the first time.

I did not sail extraordinary fast, but frequently fished in proper places, and caught a great deal, salting and drying the best of what I took. For three weeks' time and more, I saw no entrance into the island, as I call it, nor anything but the same unscalable rock. This uniform prospect gave me so little hopes of landing, that I was almost of a mind to have returned again. But, on mature deliberation, resolving to go forward a day or two more, I had not proceeded twenty-four hours, when, just as it was becoming dark, I heard a great noise, as of a fall of water, whereupon I proposed to lie by and wait for day, to see what it was; but the stream insensibly drawing me on, I soon found myself in an eddy; and the boat drawing forward beyond all my power to resist it, I was quickly sucked under a low arch, where, if I had not fallen flat in my boat, having barely light enough to see my danger, I had undoubtedly been crushed to pieces or driven overboard. I could perceive the boat to fall with incredible violence, as I thought, down a precipice, and suddenly whirled round and round with me, the water roaring on all sides, and dashing against the rock with a most amazing noise.

I expected every moment my poor little vessel would be staved against the rock, and I overwhelmed with waters; and for that reason never once attempted to rise up, or look upon my peril, till after the commotion had in some measure ceased. At length, finding the perturbation of the water abate, and as if by degrees I came into a smoother stream, I took courage just to lift up my affrighted head; but guess, if you can, the horror which seized me, on finding myself in the blackest of darkness, unable to perceive the smallest glimmer of light.

However, as my boat seemed to glide easily, I roused myself and struck a light; but if I had my terrors before, what must I have now! I was quite stupefied at the tremendous view of an immense arch over my head, to which I could see no bounds; the stream itself, as I judged, was about thirty yards broad, but in some places wider, in some narrower. It was well for me I happened to have a tinder-box, or, though I had escaped hitherto, I must have at lust perished; for in the narrower parts of the stream, where it ran swiftest, there were frequently such crags stood out from the rock, by reason of the turnings and windings, and such sets of the current against them, as, could I not have seen to manage my boat, which I took great care to keep in the middle of the stream, must have thrown me on them, to my inevitable destruction.

Happy it was for me, also, I was so well victualled, and that I had taken with me two bottles of oil (as I supposed, for I did not imagine I had any more), or I had certainly been lost, not only through hunger, for I was, to my guess, five weeks in the vault or cavern, but for want of light, which the oil furnished, and without which all other conveniences could have been of no avail to me. I was forced to keep my lamp always burning; so, not knowing how long my residence was to be in that place, or when I should get my discharge from it, if ever, I was obliged to husband my oil with the utmost frugality; and notwithstanding all my caution, it grew low, and was just spent, in little above half the time I stayed there.

I had now cut a piece of my shirt for a wick to my last drop of oil, which I twisted and lighted. I burnt the oil in my brass tobacco-box, which I had fitted pretty well to answer the purpose Sitting down, I had many black thoughts of what must follow the loss of my light, which I considered as near expiring, and that, I feared, for ever. I am here, thought I, like a poor condemned criminal, who knows his execution is fixed for such a day, nay, such an hour, and dies over and over in imagination, and by the torture of his mind, till that hour comes: that hour, which he so much dreads! and yet that very hour which releases him from all farther dread! Thus do I—my last wick is kindled—my last drop of fuel is consuming!—and I am every moment apprehending the shocks of the rock, the suffocation of the water; and, in short, thinking over my dying thoughts, till the snuff of my lamp throws up its last curling, expiring flame, and then my quietus will be presently signed, and I released from my tormenting anxiety! Happy minute! Come then; I only wait for thee! My spirits grew so low and feeble upon this, that I had recourse to my brandy bottle to raise them; but, as I was just going to take a sip, I reflected that would only increase thirst, and, therefore, it were better to take a little of my white Madeira; so, putting my dram-bottle again into the chest, I held up one of Madeira, as I fancied, to the lamp, and seeing it was white (for I had red too) I clapped it eagerly to my mouth, when the first gulp gave me a greater refreshment, and more cheered my heart, than all the other liquors I had put together could have done; insomuch, as I had almost leaped over the boat's side for joy. “It is oil!” cried I aloud, “it is oil!” I set it down carefully, with inexpressible pleasure; and examining the rest of the bottles I had taken for white Madeira, I found two more of those to be filled with oil. “Now,” says I, “here is the counterpart of my condemned prisoner! For let but a pardon come, though at the gallows, how soon does he forget he has been an unhappy villain! And I, too, have scarce a notion now, how a man, in my case, could feel such sorrow as I have for want of a little oil.”

After my first transport, I found myself grow serious, reflecting upon the vigilance of Providence over us poor creatures, and the various instances wherein it interposes to save or relieve us in cases of the deepest distress, where our own foresight, wisdom, and power have utterly failed, and when, looking all around, we could discover no means of deliverance. And I saw a train of circumstances leading to the incident I have just mentioned, which obliged me to acknowledge the superintendence of Heaven over even my affairs; and as the goodness of God had cared for me thus far, and manifested itself to me now, in rescuing me, as it were, from being swallowed up in darkness, I had ground to hope He intended a complete deliverance of me out of that dismal abyss, and would cause me yet to praise Him in the full brightness of day.

A series of these meditations brought me (at the end of five weeks, as nearly as I could compute it by my lamp) to a prodigious lake of water, bordered with a grassy down, about half a mile wide, of the finest verdure I had ever seen: this again was flanked with a wood or grove, rising like an amphitheatre, of about the same breadth; and behind, and above all, appeared the naked rock to an immense height.

CHAPTER XI.

     His joy on his arrival at land—A description of the place—
     No inhabitants—Wants fresh water—Resides in a grotto—
     Finds water—Views the country—Carries his things to the
     grotto.

It is impossible to express my joy at the sight of day once more. I got on the land as soon as possible after my dismission from the cavern, and, kneeling on the ground, returned hearty thanks to God for my deliverance, begging, at the same time, grace to improve His mercies, and that I might continue under His protection, whatever should hereafter befall me, and at last die on my native soil.

I unloaded my vessel as well as I could, and hauled her up on the shore; and, turning her upside down, made her a covering for my arms and baggage. I then sat down to contemplate the place, and eat a most delightful meal on the grass, being quite a new thing to me.

I walked over the greensward to the wood, with my gun in my hand, a brace of pistols in my girdle, and my cutlass hanging before me; but, when I was just entering the wood, looking behind me and all around the plain, “Is it possible,” says I, “that so much art (for I did not then believe it was natural) could have been bestowed upon this place, and no inhabitant in it? Here are neither buildings, huts, castle, nor any living creature to be seen! It cannot be,” says I, “that this place was made for nothing!”

I then went a considerable way into the wood, and inclined to have gone much farther, it being very beautiful, but, on second thoughts, judged it best to content myself at present with only looking out a safe retreat for that night; for, however agreeable the place then seemed, darkness was at hand, when everything about me would have more or less of horror in it.

The wood, at its first entrance, was composed of the most charming flowering shrubs that can be imagined; each growing upon its own stem, at so convenient a distance from the other, that you might fairly pass between them any way without the least incommodity. Behind them grew numberless trees, somewhat taller, of the greatest variety of shapes, forms, and verdures the eye ever beheld; each, also, so far asunder as was necessary for the spreading of their several branches and the growth of their delicious fruits, without a bush, briar, or shrub amongst them. Behind these, and still on the higher ground, grew an infinite number of very large, tall trees, much loftier than the former, but intermixed with some underwood, which grew thicker and closer the nearer you approached the rock. I made a shift to force my way through these as far as the rock, which rose as perpendicular as a regular building, having only here and there some crags and unevennesses. There was, I observed, a space all the way between the underwood and the rock, wide enough to drive a cart in; and, indeed, I thought it had been left for that purpose.

I walked along this passage a good way, having tied a rag of the lining of my jacket at the place of my entrance, to know it again at my coming back, which I intended to be ere it grew dark; but I found so much pleasure in the walk, and surveying a small natural grotto which was in the rock, that the daylight forsook me unawares: whereupon I resolved to put off my return unto the boat till next morning, and to take up my lodging for that night in the cave.

I cut down a large bundle of underwood with my cutlass, sufficient to stop up the mouth of the grotto, and laying me down to rest, slept as sound as if I had been on board my ship; for I never had one hour's rest together since I shot the gulf till this. Nature, indeed, could not have supported itself thus long under much labour; but as I had nothing to do but only keep the middle stream, I began to be as used to guide myself in it with my eyes almost closed, and my senses retired, as a higgler is to drive his cart to market in his sleep.

The next morning I awaked sweetly refreshed; and, by the sign of my rag, found the way again through the underwood to my boat I raised that up a little, took out some bread and cheese, and, having eat pretty heartily, laid me down to drink at the lake, which looked as clear as crystal, expecting a most delicious draught; but I had forgot it brought me from the sea, and my first gulp almost poisoned me. This was a sore disappointment, for I knew my water-cask was nigh emptied; and, indeed, turning up my boat again, I drew out all that remained, and drank it, for I was much athirst.

However, I did not despair; I was now so used to God's providence, and had a sense of its operations so riveted in my mind, that though the vast lake of salt water was surrounded by an impenetrable rock or barrier of stone, I rested satisfied that I should rather find even that yield me a fresh and living stream, than that I should perish for want of it.

With this easy mind did I travel five or six miles on the side of the lake, and sometimes stepped into the wood, and walked a little there, till I had gone almost half the diameter of the lake, which lay in a circular or rather an oval figure. I had then thoughts of walking back, to be near my boat and lodging, for fear I should be again benighted if I went much farther; but, considering I had come past no water, and possibly I might yet find some if I went quite round the lake, I rather chose to take up with a new lodging that night, than to return; and I did not want for a supper, having brought out with me more bread and cheese than had served for dinner, the remainder of which was in the lining of my jacket. When it grew darkish, I had some thoughts of eating; but I considered, as I was then neither very hungry nor dry, if I should eat it would but occasion drought, and I had nothing to allay that with; so I contented myself for that night to lay me down supperless.

In the morning I set forward again upon my water search, and hoped to compass the whole lake that day. I had gone about seven miles more, when, at a little distance before me, I perceived a small hollow or cut in the grass from the wood to the lake; thither I hasted with all speed, and blessed God for the supply of a fine fresh rill, which, distilling from several small clefts in the rock, had collected itself into one stream, and cut its way through the green sod to the lake.

I lay down with infinite pleasure, and swallowed a most cheering draught of the precious liquid; and, sitting on the brink, made a good meal of what I had with me, and then drank again. I had now got five-sixths of the lake's circumference to go back again to my boat, for I did not suspect any passage over the cavern's mouth where I came into the lake; and I could not, without much trouble, consider that, if I would have this water for a constant supply, I must either come a long way for it, or fix my habitation near it. I was just going back again, revolving these uneasy thoughts in my breast, when this rose suddenly in my mind, that, if I could possibly get over the mouth of the cavern, I should not have above three miles from my grotto to the water. Now, as I could not get home that night otherwise than by crossing it, and as, if I lost my labour, I should be but where I was, whereas if I should get over it, it would very much shorten my journey, I resolved to try whether the thing was practicable, first, however, looking out for a resting-place somewhere near my water, if I should meet with a disappointment.

I then walked into the wood, where, meeting with no place of retreat to my liking, I went to my rill, and taking another sup, determined not to leave that side of the lake till morning; but having some time to spare, I walked about two miles to view the inlet of the lake, and was agreeably surprised, just over the mouth of the cavern, to see a large stone arch like a bridge, as if it had been cut out of the rock, quite across the opening: this cheered me vastly, and, pushing over it, I found a path that brought me to my boat before night.

I then went up to my grotto for the third night in this most delightful place; and the next morning early I launched my boat, and taking my water-cask and a small dipping bucket with me, I rowed away for the rill, and returned highly pleased with a sufficiency of water, whereof I carried a bucket and a copper kettle full up with me to the grotto. Indeed, it was not the least part of my satisfaction that I had this kettle with me; for though I was in hopes, in my last voyage, I should have come to some shore, where I could have landed and enjoyed myself over some of my fish, and for that reason had taken it, notwithstanding things did not turn out just as I had schemed, yet my kettle proved the most useful piece of furniture I had.

Having now acquainted myself with the circumference of the lake, and settled a communication with my rill, I began to think of commencing housekeeper. In order thereunto, I set about removing my goods up to the grotto. By constant application, in a few days I had gotten all thither but my two great chests and my water-cask; and how to drag or drive any of those to it, I was entirely at a loss. My water-cask was of the utmost importance to me, and I had thoughts sometimes of stopping it close, and rolling it to the place; but the ascent through the wood to the grotto was so steep, that, besides the fear of staving it, which would have been an irreparable loss, I judged it impossible to accomplish it by my strength; so with a good deal of discontent, I determined to remit both that and the chests to future consideration.

CHAPTER XII.

     An account of the grotto—A room added to it—-A view of
     that building—The author makes a little cart—Also a wet
     dock for his boat—Goes in quest of provision—A description
     of divers fruits and plants—He brings home a cart-load of
     different sorts—Makes experiments on them—Loads his cart
     with others—A great disappointment—Makes good bread—Never
     sees the sun—The nature of the light

Having come to a full resolution of fixing my residence at the grotto, and making that my capital seat, it is proper to give you some description of it.

This grotto, then, was a full mile from the lake, in the rock which encompassed the wood. The entrance was scarcely two feet wide, and about nine feet high, rising from the height of seven feet upward to a point in the middle. The cavity was about fifteen feet long within, and about five wide. Being obliged to lie lengthwise in it, full six feet of it were taken up at the farther end for my lodging only, as nothing could stand on the side of my bed that would leave me room to come at it. The remaining nine feet of the cave's length were taken up, first, by my fireplace, which was the deepest side of the doorway, ranging with my bed (which I had set close to the rock on one side), and took up near three feet in length; and my furniture and provisions, of one sort or other, so filled up the rest, that I had much ado to creep between them into my bed.

In the chest which I had taken for a seat in the boat, as aforesaid, upon breaking it open by the water-side, I found a mattress, some shirts, shoes, stockings, and several other useful things; a small case of bottles with cordials in them, some instruments of surgery, plasters and salves; all which, together with a large quantity of fish that I had salted, I carried to the grotto.

My habitation being thus already overcharged, and as I could not, however, bear the thoughts of quitting it, or of having any of my goods exposed to the weather on the outside, I was naturally bent on contriving how I should increase my accommodations. As I had no prospect of enlarging the grotto itself, I could conceive no other way of effecting my desire but by the addition of an outer room. This thought pleased me very much, so that the next day I set myself to plan out the building, and trace the foundation of it.

I told you before there was about the space of a cart-way between the wood and the rock clear; but this breadth, as I was building for life (so I imagined), not appearing to me spacious enough for my new apartment, I considered how I should extend its bounds into the wood. Hereupon I set myself to observe what trees stood at a proper distance from my grotto, that might serve as they stood, with a little management of hewing and the like, to compose a noble doorway, posts, and supporters; and I found, that upon cutting down three of the nearest trees, I should answer my purpose in this respect; and there were several others, about twenty feet from the grotto, and running parallel with the rock, the situation of which was so happily adapted to my intention, that I could make them become, as I fancied, an out-fence or wall; so I took my axe and cut down my nearest trees, but as I was going to strike, a somewhat different scheme presented itself to my imagination that altered my resolution.

In conformity with this new plan, I fixed the height of my intended ceiling, and sawed off my nearest trees to that, sloping from the sides to the middle, to support cross-beams for the roof to rest on, and left the trunks standing, by way of pillars, both for the use and ornament of the structure. In short, I worked hard every day upon my building for a month, in which time I had cut all my timber into their proper lengths for my outworks and covering, but was at a great stand how to fix my side-posts, having no spade or mattock, and the ground almost as hard as flint, for to be sure it had never been stirred since the creation. I then thought I had the worst part of my job to get over; however, I went on, and having contrived, in most of my upright side-quarters, to take the tops of trees, and leave on the lower parts their cleft, where they began to branch out and divide from the main stem, I set one of them upright against the rock, then laid one end of my long ceiling-pieces upon the cleft of it, and laid the other end upon a tree on the same side, whose top I had also sawed off with a proper cleft I then went and did the same on the other side; after this I laid on a proper number of cross-beams, and tied all very firmly together with the bark of young trees stripped off in long thongs, which answered that purpose very well. Thus I proceeded, crossing, joining, and fastening all together, till the whole roof was so strong and firm that there was no stirring any part of it I then spread it over with small lop wood, on which I raised a ridge of dried grass and weeds, very thick, and thatched over the whole with the leaves of a tree very much resembling those of a palm, but much thicker, and not quite so broad; the entire surface, I might say, was as smooth as a die, and so ordered, by a gentle declivity every way, as to carry off the wet.

Having covered in my building, I was next to finish and close the walls of it; the skeleton of these was composed of sticks, crossing one another checker-wise and tied together; to fill up the voids, I wove upon them the longest and most pliable twigs of the underwood I could find, leaving only a doorway on one side, between two stems of a tree which, dividing in the trunk at about two feet from the ground, grew from thence, for the rest of its height, as if the branches were a couple of trees a little distance from one another, which made a sort of stile-way to my room. When this was all done, I tempered up some earth by the lake-side, and mixing it to a due consistence with mud, which I took from the lake, applied it as a plastering in this manner: I divided it into pieces, which I rolled up of the size of a foot-ball; these lumps I stuck close by one another on the lattice, pressing them very hard with my hands, which forced part of them quite through the small twigs, and then I smoothed both sides with the back of my saw, to about the thickness of five or six inches; so that by this means I had a wall round my new apartment a foot thick. This plaster-work cost me some time and a great deal of labour, as I had a full mile to go to the lake for every load of stuff, and could carry but little at once, it was so heavy; but there was neither water for tempering, nor proper earth to make it with any nearer. At last, however, I completed my building in every respect but a door, and for this I was forced to use the lid of my sea chest; which indeed I would have chosen not to apply that way, but I had nothing else that would, do; and there was, however, this conveniency, that it had hinges ready fixed thereon.

I now began to enjoy myself in my new habitation, like the absolute and sole lord of the country, for I had neither seen man nor beast since my arrival, save a few animals in the trees like our squirrels, and some water-rats about the lake; but there were several strange kinds of birds I had never before seen, both on the lake and in the woods.

That which now troubled me most was how to get my water nearer to me than the lake, for I had no lesser vessel than the cask, which held above twenty gallons, and to bring that up was a fatigue intolerable. My next contrivance, therefore, was this: I told you I had taken my chest-lid to make a door for my ante-chamber, as I now began to call it; so I resolved to apply the body of the chest also to a purpose different from that it originally answered. In order to this, I went to the lake where the body of the chest lay, and sawed it through within about three inches of the bottom. Of the two ends, having rounded them as well as I could, I made two wheels; and with one of the sides I made two more. I burnt a hole through the middle of each; then preparing two axle-trees, I fastened them, after putting on the wheels, to the bottom of the chest with the nails I had drawn out, of it. Having finished this machine, on which I bestowed no small labour, I was hugely pleased with it, and only wished I had a beast, if it were but an ass, to draw it; however, that task I was satisfied to perform myself, since there was no help for it; so I made a good strong cord out of my fishing-lines, and fixed that to drag it by. When all was thus in readiness, filling my water-cask, I bound it thereon, and so brought it to the grotto with such ease, comparatively, as quite charmed me. Having succeeded so well in the first essay, I no sooner unloaded but down went I again with my cart, or truckle rather, to the lake, and brought from thence on it my other chest, which I had left entire.

I had now nothing remaining near the lake but my boat, and had half a mind to try to bring that up too; but having so frequent occasion for her to get my water in, which I used in greater abundance now than I had done at first, a great part going to supply my domestic uses, as well as for drinking, I resolved against that, and sought out for a convenient dock to stow it in as a preservative against wind and weather, which I soon after effected; for having pitched upon a swampy place, overgrown with a sort of long flags or reeds, I soon cut a trench from the lake, with a sort of spade or board that I had chopped and sharpened for that use.

Thus having stowed my boat and looked over all my goods and sorted them, and taken a survey of my provisions, I found I must soon be in want of the last if I did not forthwith procure a supply; for though I had victualled so well at setting out, and had been very sparing ever since, yet had it not been for a great quantity of fish I took and salted in my passage to the gulf, I had been to seek for food much sooner. Hereupon I thought it highly prudent to look out before I really wanted.

With this resolution I accoutred myself, as in my first walk, with my instruments and arms; but instead of travelling the lake-side, I went along the wood, and therein found great plenty of divers kinds of fruits \ though I could scarce persuade myself to taste or try the effects of them, being so much unlike our own, or any I had seen elsewhere. I observed amongst the shrubs abundance of a fruit, or whatever else you may call it, which grew like a ram's-horn; sharp at the point next the twig it was fastened to, and circling round and round, one fold upon another, which gradually increased to the size of my wrist in the middle, and then as gradually decreased till it terminated in a point again at the contrary extreme; all which spiral, if it were fairly extended in length, might be a yard or an ell long. I surveyed this strange vegetable very attentively; it had a rind, or crust, which I could not break with my hand, but taking my knife and making an opening therewith in the shell, there issued out a sort of milky liquor in great quantity, to at least a pint and half, which having tasted, I found as sweet as honey, and very pleasant: however, I could not persuade myself any more than just to taste it. I then found on the large trees several kinds of fruit, like pears or quinces, but most of them exceeding hard and rough, and quite disagreeable; so I quitted my hopes of them.

About three miles from my grotto I met with a large space of ground full of a low plant, growing only with a single woody stalk half a foot high, and from thence issued a round head, about a foot or ten inches diameter, but quite flat, about three-quarters of an inch thick, and just like a cream-cheese standing upon its edge: these grew so close together, that upon the least wind stirring, their heads rattled against each other very musically; for though the stalks were so very strong that they would not easily either bend or break, yet the fanning of the wind upon the broad heads twisting the stalks, so as to let the heads strike each other, they made a most agreeable sound.

I stood some time admiring this shrub, and then cutting up one of them, I found it weighed about two pounds; they had a tough green rind or covering, very smooth, and the inside full of a stringy pulp, quite white. In short, I made divers other trials of berries, roots, herbs, and what else I could find, but received little satisfaction from any of them for fear of bad qualities. I returned back ruminating on what things I had seen, resolving to take my cart the next walk, and bring it home loaded with different kinds of them, in order to make my trials thereof at leisure: but my cart being too flat and wanting sides, I considered it would carry very little, and that what it would otherwise bear, on that account, must tumble and roll off, so I made a fire and turned smith; for with a great deal to do breaking off the wards of a large key I had, and making it red-hot, I by degrees fashioned it into a kind of spindle, and therewith making holes quite round the bottom of my cart, in them I stuck up sticks about two feet high that I had tapered at the end to fit them.

Having thus qualified my cart for a load, I proceeded with it to the wood, and cutting a small quantity of each species of green, berry, fruit, and flower that I could find, and packing them severally in parcels, I returned at night heavy-laden, and held a council with myself what use they could most properly be applied to.

I had amongst my goods, as I said, a copper-kettle which held about a gallon: this I set over my fire and boiled something by turns of every sort in it, watching all the while, and with a stick stirring and raising up one thing and then another, to feel when they were boiled tender: but of upwards of twenty greens which I thus dressed, only one proved eatable, all the rest becoming more stringy, tough, and insipid for the cooking. The one I have excepted was a round, thick, woolly-leafed plant, which boiled tender and tasted as well as spinach; I therefore preserved some leaves of this to know it again by; and for distinction called it by the name of that herb.

I then began upon my fruits of the pear and quince kind, at least eight different sorts; but I found I could make nothing of them, for they were most of them as rough and crabbed after stewing as before, so I laid them all aside. Lastly, I boiled my ram's-horn and cream-cheese, as I called them, together. Upon tasting the latter of these, it was become so watery and insipid, I laid it aside as useless. I then cut the other and tasted the juice, which proved so exceeding pleasant that I took a large gulp or two of it, and tossed it into the kettle again.

Having now gone through the several kinds of my exotics, I had a mind to re-examine them after cooling, but could make nothing of any of my greens but the spinach. I tried several berries and nuts too, but, save a few sort of nuts, they were all very tasteless. Then I began to review the fruits, and could find but two sorts that I had any the least hopes from. I then laid the best by and threw the others away. After this process, which took me up near a whole day, and clearing my house of good-for-nothings, I returned to reexamine my cheese, that was grown cold, and was now so dry and hard I could not get my teeth into it; upon which I was going to skim it away out of my grotto, saying, “Go, thou worthless!” (for I always spoke aloud my thoughts to myself)—I say I was just despatching it when I checked my hands, and as I could make no impression with my teeth, had a mind to try what my knife would do. Accordingly I began at the edge of the quarter, for I had boiled but a quarter of it, but the rind was grown so hard and brittle that my knife slipping and raking along the cut edge of it, scratched off some powder as white as possible; I then scraped it backward and forward some time, till I found it would all scrape away in this powder, except the rind, upon which I laid it aside again for farther experiment.

During this review my kettle and ram's-horn had been boiling, till hearing it blubber very loud, and seeing there was but little liquor in it, I whipped it off the fire, for fear of burning its bottom, but took no further notice of it till about two hours after; when returning to the grotto, I went to wash out my kettle, but could scarce get my ram's-horn from the bottom; and when I did, it brought up with it a sort of pitchy substance, though not so black, and several gummy threads hanging to it, drawn out to a great length. I wondered at this, and thought the shell of the ram's-horn had melted, or some such thing, till, venturing to put a little of the stuff on my tongue, it proved to my thinking as good treacle as I had ever tasted.

This new discovery pleased me very much. I scraped all the sweet thing up, and laid it near my grotto in a large leaf of one of the trees (about two feet long, and broad in proportion) to prevent its running about. In getting this curiosity out of my kettle, I found in it a small piece of my cheese, which I suppose had been broke off in stirring; and biting it (for it was soft enough) I think it was the most luscious and delicate morsel I ever put into my lips. This unexpected good fortune put me on trying the best of my pears again; so setting on my kettle, with very little water, and putting some of my treacle into it, and two of the best pears quartered, I found, upon a little boiling, they also became an excellent dainty.

Having succeeded so well, I was quite ripe for another journey with my cart; which I accordingly undertook, taking my route over the stone bridge, to see what the other side of the lake produced. In travelling through the trees, I met, amongst other things, with abundance of large gourds, which, climbing the trees, displayed their fruit to the height of twenty or thirty feet above the ground. I cut a great many of these, and some very large ones of different hues and forms; which of themselves making a great load, with some few new sorts of berries and greens, were the gathering of that day. But I must tell you I was almost foiled in getting them home; for coming to my stone bridge, it rose so steep, and was so much ruggeder than the grass or wood ground, that I was at a set upon the first entrance and terribly afraid that I should either break my wheels or pull off my axle-trees. Hereupon I was forced to unload, and carry my cargo over in my arms to the other side of the bridge; whither having then, with less fear but much caution, drawn my cart, I loaded again and got safe home.

I was mightily pleased with the acquisitions of this journey; for now, thought I, I shall have several convenient family utensils; so spent the next day or two in scooping my gourds and cleaning away the pulp. When I had done this, finding the rinds to be very weak and yielding, I made a good fire, and setting them round it at a moderate distance to dry, I went about something else without doors: but, alas! my hopes were ill founded; for coming home to turn my gourds and see how dry they were, I found them all warped and turned into a variety of uncouth shapes. This put me to a stand; but, however, I recovered some pieces of them for use, as the bottom parts of most of them, after paring away the sides, would hold something, though they by no means answered my first purpose.

Well, thought I, what if I have lost my gourds, I have gained experience. I will dry them next time with the guts in, and having stiffened their rinds in their proper dimensions, then try to cleanse them. So next morning (for I was very eager at it) I set out with my cart for another load; and having handed them over the bridge, got safe with them to the grotto. These by proper management proved exceedingly valuable to me, answering, in one way or other, the several uses of plates, bottles, pans, and divers other vessels.

I now got a large quantity of the vegetable ram's-horn, and filled a great many of the gourds with the treacle it yielded; I also boiled and dried a large parcel of my cheeses, and hung them up for use, for I had now for some time made all my bread of the latter, scraping and bruising the flour, and mixing it with my treacle and water; and this indeed made such a sweet and nourishing bread, that I could even have lived wholly upon it; but I afterwards very much improved it by putting the milky juice of the ram's-horn, unboiled, to my flour in a small quantity, and then baking it on the hearth, covered over with embers. This detracted nothing from the sweetness and mellowness of my bread, but made it much lighter than the treacle alone would have done.

Finding there was no fear of starving, but so far from it, that from day to day I found out something new to add to my repast, either in substantials or by way of dessert, I set me down very well contented with my condition. I had nothing to do but to lay up store against sickness and the dark weather, which last I expected would soon be upon me, as the days were now exceeding short. Indeed, though I had now been here six months, I had never seen the sun since I first entered the gulf; and though there was very little rain, and but few clouds, yet the brightest daylight never exceeded that of half an hour after sunset in the summer-time in England, and little more than just reddened the sky. For the first part of my time here, there was but little if any difference between day and night; but afterwards, what I might call the night, or lesser degree of light, took up more hours than the greater, and went on gradually increasing as to time, so that I perceived total darkness approached, such as I had on board my ship the year before.

CHAPTER XIII.

     The author lays in a store against the dark weather-Hears
     voices—His thoughts thereon—Persuades himself it was a
     dream—Hears them again—Determines to see if any one lodged
     in the rock—Is satisfied there is nobody—Observations on
     what he saw—Finds a strong weed like whipcord—Makes a
     drag-net—Lengthens it—Catches a monster—Its description—
     Makes oil of it

I had now well stored my grotto with all sorts of winter provisions, and feeling the weather grow very cold, I expected and waited patiently for the total darkness. I went little abroad, and employed myself within doors endeavouring to fence against the approaching extremity of the cold. For this purpose I prepared a quantity of rushes, which being very dry, I spread them smoothly on the floor of my bed-chamber a good thickness, and over them I laid my mattress. Then I made a double sheet of the boat's awning or sail, that I had brought to cover my goods; and having skewered together several of the jackets and clothes I found in the chest, of them I made a coverlid; so that I lay very commodiously, and made very long nights of it now the dark season was set in.

As I lay awake one night, or day, I know not which, I very plainly heard the sound of several human voices, and sometimes very loud; but though I could easily distinguish the articulations, I could not understand the least word that was said; nor did the voices seem at all to me like such as I had anywhere heard before, but much softer and more musical. This startled me, and I rose immediately, slipping on my clothes and taking my gun in my hand (which I always kept charged, being my constant travelling companion) and my cutlass. Thus equipped, I walked into my ante-chamber, where I heard the voices much plainer, till after some little time they by degrees died quite away. After watching here, and hearkening a good while, hearing nothing, I walked back into the grotto, and laid me down again on my bed. I was inclined to open the door of my ante-chamber, but I own I was afraid; besides, I considered that if I did, I could discover nothing at any distance by reason of the thick and gloomy wood that enclosed me.

I had a thousand different surmises about the meaning of this odd incident; and could not conceive how any human creatures should be in my kingdom (as I called it) but myself, and I never yet see them, or any trace of their habitation. But then again I reflected, that though I had surrounded the whole lake, yet I had not traced the out-bounds of the wood next the rock, where there might be innumerable grottoes like mine; nay, perhaps some as spacious as that I had sailed through to the lake; and that though I had not perceived it, yet this beautiful spot might be very well peopled. But, says I again, if there be any such beings as I am fancying here, surely they don't skulk in their dens, like savage beasts, by daylight, and only patrole for prey by night; if so, I shall probably become a delicious morsel for them ere long, if they meet with me. This kept me still more within doors than before, and I hardly ever stirred out but for water or firing. At length, hearing no more voices, nor seeing any one, I began to be more composed in my mind, and at last grew persuaded it was all a mere delusion, and only a fancy of mine, without any real foundation; and sometimes, though I was sure I was fully awake when I heard them, I persuaded myself I had rose in my sleep, upon a dream of voices, and recollected with myself the various stories I had heard when a boy of walking in one's sleep, and the surprising effects of it; so the whole notion was now blown over.

I had not enjoyed my tranquillity above a week, before my fears were roused afresh, hearing the same sound of voices twice the same night, but not many minutes at a time. What gave me most pain was that they were at such a distance, as I judged by the languor of the sound, that if I had opened my door I could not have seen the utterers through the trees, and I was resolved not to venture out; but then I determined, if they should come again anything near my grotto, to open the door, see who they were, and stand upon my defence, whatever came of it: For, says I, my entrance is so narrow and high that more than one cannot come at a time; and I can with ease despatch twenty of them before they can secure me, if they should be savages; but if they prove sensible human creatures, it will be a great benefit to me to join myself to their society. Thus had I formed my scheme, but I heard no more of them for a great while; so that at length beginning to grow ashamed of my fears, I became tranquil again.

The day now returning, and with it my labours, I applied to my usual callings; but my mind ran strangely upon viewing the rock quite round, that is, the whole circuit of my dominions; for, thinks I, there may possibly be an outlet through the rock into some other country, from whence the persons I heard may come. As soon therefore as the days grew towards the longest, I prepared for my progress. Having lived so well at home since my settlement, I did not care to trust only to what I could pick up in the woods for my subsistence during this journey, which would not only take up time in procuring, but perhaps not agree with me; so I resolved to carry a supply with me, proportionate to the length of my perambulation. Hereupon considering that though my walk round the lake was finished in two days, yet as I now intended to go round by the rock, the way would be much longer and perhaps more troublesome than that was; remembering also my journey with Glanlepze in Africa, and how much I complained of the fruits we carried for our subsistence; these circumstances, I say, laying together, I resolved to load the cart with a variety of food, bread and fruits especially, and draw that with me.

Thus provided, I sallied forth with great cheerfulness, and proceeded in the main easily; though in some places I was forced to make way with my hatchet, the ground was so over-run with underwood. I very narrowly viewed the rock as I went, bottom and sides, all the way, but could see nothing like a passage through it, or indeed any more than one opening, or inlet, which I entered for about thirty yards, but it was not above three feet wide, and terminated in the solid rock.

After some days' travel (making all the observations I could on the several plants, shrubs, and trees which I met with, particularly where any of these occurred to me entirely new), finding myself a little faintish, I had a mind for a sup of ram's-horn juice; so I cut me one, but upon opening it found therein only a pithy pulp, and noways fit to taste. I supposed by this I was too early for the milk, it being three months later the last year when I cut them. Hereon, seeing one upon another shrub, which by its rusty colour I judged might have hung all the winter, I opened that, and found it full of milk; but putting some of it into my mouth, it was as sour as any vinegar I ever tasted in my life. So, thinks I (and said so too; for, as I told you before, I always spoke out), here's sauce for something when I want it; and this gave me a hint to store myself with these gourds, to hang by for vinegar the next winter.

By this time I had come almost to my rill, when I entered upon a large plat of ground miserably over-run with weeds, matted together very thick. These choked up my wheels in such a manner that I could neither free them with my hands, nor get either backwards or forwards, they binding my cart down like so many cords; so that I was obliged to cut my way back again with my hatchet, and take a sweep round in the wood, on the outside of these weeds.

In all my life I never saw anything of its size, for it was no thicker than a whipcord, so strong as this weed; and what raised my wonder was the length of it, for I drew out pieces of it near fifty feet long, and even they were broken at the end, so that it might be as long again for aught I know, for it was so matted and twisted together, that it was a great trial of patience to untangle it; but that which was driest, and to me looked the rottenest and weakest, I found to be much the strongest. Upon examination of its parts, I discovered it to be composed of an infinite number of small threads, spirally overlaying and enfolding one another.

As I saw but few things that I could not find a use for, so this I perceived would serve all the common purposes of packthread; a thing I was often in want of. This inclined me to take a load of it home with me. Indeed the difficulty of getting a quantity in the condition I desired it, puzzled me a little; for, says I, if I cut up a good deal of it with my hatchet, as I first designed, I shall only have small lengths, good for little, and to get it in pieces of any considerable length, so as to be of service, will require much time and labour. But reflecting how much I needed it, and of what benefit it would be, I resolved to make a trial of what I could do; so, without more hesitation, I went to work, and cutting a fibre close to its root, I extricated that thread from all its windings, just as one does an entangled whipcord. When I had thus disengaged a sufficient length, I cut that off, and repeating the like operation, in about three hours' time, but with no little toil, I made up my load of different lengths just to my liking. Having finished this task, I filled the gourd, brought for that purpose, with water; and having first viewed the whole remaining part of the rock, I returned over the stone bridge home again.

This journey, though it took me up several days, and was attended with some fatigue, had yet given me great satisfaction; for now I was persuaded I could not have one rival or enemy to fear in my whole dominions. And from the impossibility, as I supposed, of there being any, or of the ingress of any, unless by the same passage I entered at, and by which I was well assured they could never return, I grew contented, and blamed myself for the folly of my imaginary voices, as I called them then, and took it for a distemper of the fancy only.

The next day I looked over my load of matweed, having given it that name, and separated the different lengths from each other. I then found I had several pieces between forty and fifty feet long, of which I resolved to get a good number more, to make me a drag-net that I might try for some fish in the lake. A day or two after, therefore, I brought home another load of it Then I picked out a smooth level spot upon the green-sward, and having prepared a great number of short wooden pegs, I strained a line of the matweed about ten feet long, tying it at each end to a peg, and stuck a row of pegs along by that line, about two inches asunder; I next strained another line of the same length, parallel to that, at the distance of forty feet from it, and stuck pegs thereby, corresponding to the former row; and from each peg on one side, to the opposite peg on the other, I tied a like length of my mat-line, quite through the whole number of pegs; when the work looked like the inside of a harpsichord. I afterwards drove pegs in like manner along the whole length of the two outermost longer lines, and tied shorter lines to them, so that the whole affair then represented the squares of a racket; the corners of each of which squares I tied very tight with smaller pieces of the line, till I had formed a complete net of forty feet long and ten wide.

When I had finished my net, as I thought, I wrapped several stones in rags, and fastened them to the bottom to sink it, and some of the smallest unscooped dry gourds to the top, to keep that part buoyant. I now longed to begin my new trade, and carried the net to my boat with that intention; but after two or three hauls I found it would not answer for want of length (though by chance I caught a blackish fish without scales, a little bigger than whiting, but much longer, which stuck by the gills in it); so I left the net in the boat, resolving to make an addition to it with all speed; and returning to my grotto, I supped on the fish I had taken and considered how to pursue my enterprise with better effect.

I provided me with another large parcel of line; and having brought two more lengths to perfection, I joined all together, and fixing one end on shore, by a pole I had cut for that purpose, I launched my boat, with the other end in it, taking a sweep the length of my net round to my stick again, and getting on shore, hauled up my net by both ends together. I found now I had mended my instrument, and taken a proper way of applying it; for by this means, in five hauls, I caught about sixteen fish of three or four different sorts, and one shell-fish, almost like a lobster, but without great claws, and with a very small short tail; which made me think, as the body was thrice as long as a lobster's in proportion, that it did not swim backwards, like that creature, but only crawled forwards (it having lobsterlike legs, but much shorter and stronger), and that the legs all standing so forward, its tail was, by its motion, to keep the hinder part of the body from dragging upon the ground, as I observed it did when the creature walked on land, it then frequently flacking its short tail.

These fish made me rich in provisions. Some of them I ate fresh, and the remainder I salted down. But of all the kinds, my lobster was the most delicious food, and made me almost three meals.

Thus finding there were fish to be had, though my present tackle seemed suitable enough to my family, yet could I not rest till I had improved my fishery by enlarging my net; for as it was, even with my late addition, I must either sweep little or no compass of ground, or it would have no bag behind me. Upon this I set to work and shortly doubled the dimensions of it. I had then a mind to try it at the mouth of my rill; so taking it with me the next time I crossed the lake for water, and fastening it to my pole, close by the right side of the rill, I swept a long compass round to the left, and closing the ends, attempted to draw it up in the hollow cut of the rill. But by the time I had gathered up two-thirds of the net, I felt a resistance that quite amazed me. In short, I was not able to stand against the force I felt. Whereupon sitting down in the rill, and clapping my feet to the two sides of it, I exerted all my strength, till finally I became conqueror, and brought up so shocking a monster, that I was just rising to run for my life on the sight of it. But recollecting that the creature was hampered, and could not make so much resistance on the land as in the water, I ventured to drag the net up as far from the rill as my strength and breath would permit me; and then running to the boat for my gun, I returned to the net to examine my prize. Indeed, I had not instantly resolution enough to survey it, and when at length I assumed courage enough to do so, I could not perfectly distinguish the parts, they were so discomposed; but taking hold of one end of the net, I endeavoured to disentangle the thing, and then drawing the net away, a most surprising sight presented itself: the creature reared upright, about three feet high, covered all over with long, black shaggy hair, like a bear, which hung down from his head and neck quite along his back and sides. He had two fins, very broad and large, which, as he stood erect, looked like arms, and these he waved and whirled about with incredible velocity; and though I wondered at first at it, I found afterwards it was the motion of these fins that kept him upright; for I perceived when they ceased their motion he fell flat on his belly. He had two very large feet, which he stood upon, but could not run, and but barely walk on them, which made me in the less haste to despatch him; and after he had stood upon his feet about four minutes, clapping his fins to his sides, he fell upon his belly.

When I found he could not attack me, I was moving closer to him; but upon sight of my stirring, up he rose again, and whirled his fins about as before so long as he stood. And now I viewed him round, and found he had no tail at all, and that his hinder fins, or feet, very much resembled a large frog's, but were at least ten inches broad, and eighteen long, from heel to toe; and his legs were so short that when he stood upright his breech bore upon the ground. His belly, which he kept towards me, was of an ash-colour, and very broad, as also was his breast His eyes were small and blue, with a large black sight in the middle, and rather of an oval than round make. He had a long snout like a boar, and vast teeth. Thus having surveyed him near half an hour living, I made him rise up once more and shot him in the breast. He fell, and giving a loud howl, or groan, expired.

I had then time to see what else I had caught; and turning over the net, found a few of the same fish I had taken before, and some others of a flat-tish make, and one little lump of flesh unformed; which last, by all I could make of it, seemed to be either a spawn or young one of that I had shot.

The great creature was so heavy, I was afraid I must have cut him in pieces to get him to the boat; but with much ado, having stowed the rest, I tumbled him on board. I then filled my water-cask and rowed homewards. Being got to land, I was obliged to bring down my cart, to carry my great beast-fish, as I termed him, up to the grotto. When I had got him thither, I had a notion of first tasting, and then, if I liked his flesh, of salting him down and drying him; so, having flayed him and taken out the guts and entrails, I boiled a piece of him; but it made such a blaze that most of the fat ran into the fire, and the flesh proved so dry and rank that I could no ways endure it.

I then began to be sorry I had taken so much pains for no profit, and had endangered my net into the bargain (for that had got a crack or two in the scuffle), and was thinking to throw away my large but worthless acquisition.

However, as I was now prone to weighing all things, before I threw it away I resolved to consider a little; whereupon I changed my mind. Says I, Here is a good warm skin, which, when dry, will make me a rare cushion. Again, I have for a long while had no light beside that of the day; but now as this beast's fat makes such a blaze in the fire, and issues in so great a quantity from such a small piece as I broiled, why may not I boil a good tallow or oil out of it? and if I can, I have not made so bad a hand of my time as I thought for.

In short, I went immediately to work upon this subject (for I never let a project cool after I had once started it), and boiled as much of the flesh as the kettle would hold, and letting it stand to cool, I found it turned out very good oil for burning; though I confess I thought it would rather have made tallow. This success quickened my industry; and I repeated the operation till I got about ten quarts of this stuff, which very well rewarded my labour. After I had extracted as much oil as I could from the beast-fish, the creature having strongly impressed my imagination, I conceived a new fancy in relation to it; and that was, having heard him make a deep, howling groan at his death, I endeavoured to persuade myself, and at last verily believed, that the voices I had so often heard in the dark weather proceeded from numbers of these creatures, diverting themselves in the lake, or sporting together on the shore; and this thought, in its turn, contributed to ease my apprehensions in that respect.

CHAPTER XIV.

     The author passes the summer pleasantly—Hears the voices in
     the winter—Ventures out—Sees a strange sight on the lake—
     His uneasiness at it—His dream—Soliloquy—Hears the
     voices again, and perceives a great shock on his building—
     Takes up a beautiful woman—He thinks her dead, but recovers
     her—A description of her—She stays with him

I passed the summer (though I had never yet seen the sun's body) very much to my satisfaction: partly in the work I have been describing (for I had taken two more of the beast-fish, and had a great quantity of oil from them); partly in building me a chimney in my ante-chamber of mud and earth burnt on my own hearth into a sort of brick; in making a window at one end of the abovesaid chamber, to let in what little light would come through the trees when I did not choose to open my door; in moulding an earthen lamp for my oil; and, finally, in providing and laying in stores, fresh and salt (for I had now cured and dried many more fish), against winter. These, I say, were my summer employments at home, intermixed with many agreeable excursions. But now the winter coming on, and the days growing very short, or indeed there being no day properly speaking, but a kind of twilight, I kept mostly in my habitation, though not so much as I had done the winter before, when I had no light within doors, and slept, or at least lay still, great part of my time; for now my lamp was never out. I also turned two of my beast-fish skins into a rug to cover my bed, and the third into a cushion, which I always sat upon, and a very soft and warm cushion it made. All this together rendered my life very easy, yea, even comfortable.

An indifferent person would now be apt to ask, What would this man desire more than he had? To this I answer, that I was contented while my condition was such as I have been describing; but a little while after the darkness or twilight came on, I frequently heard the voices again; sometimes a few only at a time, as it seemed, and then again in great numbers. This threw me into new fears, and I became as uneasy as ever, even to the degree of growing quite melancholy; though, otherwise, I never received the least injury from anything. I foolishly attempted several times, by looking out of my window, to discover what these odd sounds proceeded from, though I knew it was too dark to see anything there.

I was now fully convinced, by a more deliberate attention to them, that they could not be uttered by the beast-fish, as I had afore conjectured, but only by beings capable of articulate speech; but then, what or where they were, it galled me to be ignorant of.

At length, one night or day, I cannot say which, hearing the voices very distinctly, and praying very earnestly to be either delivered from the uncertainty they had put me under, or to have them removed from me, I took courage, and arming myself with gun, pistols, and cutlass, I went out of my grotto and crept down the wood. I then heard them plainer than before, and was able to judge from what point of the compass they proceeded. Hereupon I went forward towards the sound, till I came to the verge of the wood, where I could see the lake very well by the dazzle of the water. Thereon, as I thought, I beheld a fleet of boats, covering a large compass, and not far from the bridge. I was shocked hereat beyond expression. I could not conceive where they came from, or whither they would go; but supposed there must be some other passage to the lake than I had found in my voyage through the cavern, and that for certain they came that way, and from some place of which as yet I had no manner of knowledge.

Whilst I was entertaining myself with this speculation, I heard the people in the boats laughing and talking very merrily, though I was too distant to distinguish the words. I discerned soon after all the boats (as I still supposed 'em) draw up, and push for the bridge; presently after, though I was sure no boat entered the arch, I saw a multitude of people on the opposite shore all marching towards the bridge; and what was the strangest of all, there was not the least sign of a boat now left upon the whole lake. I then was in a greater consternation than before; but was still much more so when I saw the whole posse of people, that as I have just said were marching towards the bridge, coming over it to my side of the lake. At this my heart failed, and I was just going to run to my grotto for shelter; but taking one look more, I plainly discovered that the people, leaping one after another from the top of the bridge, as if into the water, and then rising again, flew in a long train over the lake, the lengthways of it, quite out of my sight, laughing, hallooing, and sporting together; so that looking back again to the bridge and on the lake, I could neither see person nor boat, nor anything else, nor hear the least noise or stir afterwards for that time.

I returned to my grotto brimful of this amazing adventure, bemoaning my misfortune in being at a place where I was like to remain ignorant of what was doing about me. For, says I, if I am in a land of spirits, as now I have little room to doubt, there is no guarding against them. I am never safe, even in my grotto; for that can be no security against such beings as can sail on the water in no boats, and fly in the air on no wings, as the case now appears to me, who can be here and there and wherever they please. What a miserable state, I say, am I fallen to! I should have been glad to have had human converse, and to have found inhabitants in this place; but there being none, as I supposed hitherto, I contented myself with thinking that I was at least safe from all those evils mankind in society are obnoxious to. But now, what may be the consequence of the next hour I know not; nay, I am not able to say but whilst I speak, and show my discontent, they may at a distance conceive my thoughts, and be hatching revenge against me for my dislike of them.

The pressure of my spirits inclining me to repose, I laid me down, but could get no rest; nor could all my most serious thoughts, even of the Almighty Providence, give me relief under my present anxiety: and all this was only from my state of uncertainty concerning the reality of what I had heard and seen, and from the earnestness with which I coveted a satisfactory knowledge of those beings who had just taken their flight from me.

I really believe the fiercest wild beast, or the most savage of mankind that had met me, and put me upon my defence, would not have given me half the trouble that then lay upon me; and the more, for that I had no seeming possibility of ever being rid of my apprehensions: so finding I could not sleep, I got up again; but as I could not fly from myself, all the art I could use with myself was but in vain to obtain me any quiet.

In the height of my distress I had recourse to prayer, with no small benefit; begging that if it pleased not the Almighty Power to remove the object of my fears, at least to resolve my doubts about them, and to render them rather helpful than hurtful to me. I hereupon, as I always did on such occasions, found myself much more placid and easy, and began to hope the best, till I had almost persuaded myself that I was out of danger; and then laying myself down, I rested very sweetly till I was awakened by the impulse of the following dream.

Methought I was in Cornwall, at my wife's aunt's; and inquiring after her and my children, the old gentlewoman informed me, both my wife and children had been dead some time, and that my wife, before her departure, desired her (that is, her aunt) immediately upon my arrival to tell me she was only gone to the lake, where I should be sure to see her, and be happy with her ever after. I then, as I fancied, ran to the lake to find her. In my passage she stopped me, crying, “Whither so fast, Peter? I am your wife, your Patty.” Methought I did not know her, she was so altered; but observing her voice, and looking more wistfully at her, she appeared to me as the most beautiful creature I ever beheld. I then went to seize her in my arms; but the hurry of my spirits awakened me.

When I got up, I kept at home, not caring even to look out at my door. My dream ran strangely in my head, and I had now nothing but Patty in my mind. “Oh!” cries I, “how happy could I be with her, though I had only her in this solitude. Oh! that this was but a reality, and not a dream.” And indeed, though it was but a dream, I could scarce refrain from running to the lake to meet my Patty. But then I checked my folly, and reasoned myself into some degree of temper again. However, I could not forbear crying out, “What, nobody to converse with! Nobody to assist, comfort, or counsel me! This is a melancholy situation indeed.” Thus I ran on lamenting till I was almost weary, when on a sudden I again heard the voices. “Hark!” says I, “here they come again. Well, I am now resolved to face them, come life, come death! It is not to be alone I thus dread; but to have company about me, and not know who or what, is death to me worse than I can suffer from them, be they who or what they will.”

During my soliloquy the voices increased, and then by degrees diminished as usual; but I had scarce got my gun in my hand, to pursue my resolution of showing myself to those who uttered them, when I felt such a thump upon the roof of my ante-chamber as shook the whole fabric and set me all over into a tremor. I then heard a sort of shriek, and a rustle near the door of my apartment; all which together seemed very terrible. But I, having before determined to see what and who it was, resolutely opened my door and leaped out I saw nobody; all was quite silent, and nothing that I could perceive but my own fears amoving. I went then softly to the corner of the building, and there looking down, by the glimmer of my lamp which stood in the window, I saw something in human shape lying at my feet. I gave the word, “Who is there?” Still no one answered. My heart was ready to force a way through my side. I was for a while fixed to the earth like a statue. At length, recovering, I stepped in, fetched my lamp, and returning saw the very beautiful face my Patty appeared under in my dream; and not considering that it was only a dream, I verily thought I had my Patty before me; but she seemed to be stone dead. Upon viewing her other parts (for I had never yet removed my eyes from her face), I found she had a sort of brown chaplet, like lace, round her head, under and about which her hair was tucked up and twined; and she seemed to me to be clothed in a thin hair-coloured silk garment, which, upon trying to raise her, I found to be quite warm, and therefore hoped there was life in the body it contained. I then took her into my arms, and treading a step backwards with her, I put out my lamp; however, having her in my arms, I conveyed her through the doorway in the dark into my grotto; here I laid her upon my bed, and then ran out for my lamp.

This, thinks I, is an amazing adventure. How could Patty come here, and dressed in silk and whalebone too? Sure that is not the reigning fashion in England now? But my dream said she was dead. Why, truly, says I, so she seems to be. But be it so; she is warm. Whether this is the place for persons to inhabit after death or not, I can't tell (for I see there are people here, though I don't know them); but be it as it will, she feels as flesh and blood; and if I can but bring her to stir and act again as my wife, what matters it to me what she is? It will be a great blessing and comfort to me; for she never would have come to this very spot but for my good.

Top-full of these thoughts, I re-entered my grotto, shut my door and lighted my lamp; when going to my Patty (as I delighted to fancy her), I thought I saw her eyes stir a little. I then set the lamp farther off for fear of offending them if she should look up; and warming the last glass I had reserved of my Madeira, I carried it to her, but she never stirred. I now supposed the fall had absolutely killed her, and was prodigiously grieved; when laying my hand on her breast I perceived the fountain of life had some motion. This gave me infinite pleasure; so, not despairing, I dipped my finger in the wine and moistened her lips with it two or three times, and I imagined they opened a little. Upon this I bethought me, and taking a teaspoon, I gently poured a few drops of the wine by that means into her mouth. Finding she swallowed it, I poured in another spoonful, and another, till I brought her to herself so well as to be able to sit up. All this I did by a glimmering light which the lamp afforded from a distant part of the room, where I had placed it, as I have said, out of her sight.

I then spoke to her, and asked divers questions, as if she had really been Patty and understood me; in return of which she uttered a language I had no idea of, though in the most musical tone, and with the sweetest accent I ever heard. It grieved me I could not understand her. However, thinking she might like to be on her feet, I went to lift her off the bed, when she felt to my touch in the oddest manner imaginable; for while in one respect it was as though she had been cased up in whalebone it was at the same time as soft and warm as if she had been naked.

I then took her in my arms and carried her into my ante-chamber again, where I would fain have entered into conversation, but found she and I could make nothing of it together, unless we could understand one another's speech. It is very strange my dream should have prepossessed me so of Patty, and of the alteration of her countenance, that I could by no means persuade myself the person I had with me was not she; though, upon a deliberate comparison, Patty, as pleasing as she always was to my taste, would no more come up to this fair creature than a coarse ale-wife would to Venus herself.

You may imagine we stared heartily at each other, and I doubted not but she wondered as much as I by what means we came so near each other. I offered her everything in my grotto which I thought might please her; some of which she gratefully received, as appeared by her looks and behaviour. But she avoided my lamp, and always placed her back toward it. I observing that, and ascribing it to her modesty in my company, let her have her will, and took care to set it in such a position myself as seemed agreeable to her, though it deprived me of a prospect I very much admired.

After we had sat a good while, now and then, I may say, chattering to one another, she got up and took a turn or two about the room. When I saw her in that attitude, her grace and motion perfectly charmed me, and her shape was incomparable; but the strangeness of her dress put me to my trumps to conceive either what it was, or how it was put on.

Well, we supped together, and I set the best of everything I had before her, nor could either of us forbear speaking in our own tongue, though we were sensible neither of us understood the other. After supper I gave her some of my cordials, for which she showed great tokens of thankfulness, and often in her way, by signs and gestures, which were very far from being insignificant, expressed her gratitude for my kindness. When supper had been some time over, I showed her my bed and made signs for her to go to it; but she seemed very shy of that, till I showed her where I meant to lie myself, by pointing to myself, then to that, and again pointing to her and to my bed. When at length I had made this matter intelligible to her, she lay down very composedly; and after I had taken care of my fire, and set the things I had been using for supper in their places, I laid myself down too; for I could have no suspicious thoughts or fear of danger from a form so excellent.

I treated her for some time with all the respect imaginable, and never suffered her to do the least part of my work. It was very inconvenient to both of us only to know each other's meaning by signs; but I could not be otherwise than pleased to see that she endeavoured all in her power to learn to talk like me. Indeed I was not behindhand with her in that respect, striving all I could to imitate her. What I all the while wondered at was, she never showed the least disquiet at her confinement; for I kept my door shut at first, through fear of losing her, thinking she would have taken an opportunity to run away from me; for little did I then think she could fly.

CHAPTER XV.

     Wilkin s afraid of losing his new mistress—They live
     together all winter—A remark on that—They begin to know
     each other's language—A long discourse between them at
     cross purposes—She flies—They engage to be man and wife.

After my new love had been with me a fortnight, finding my water run low, I was greatly troubled at the thought of quitting her any time to go for more; and having hinted it to her, with seeming uneasiness, she could not for a while fathom my meaning; but when she saw me much confused, she came at length, by the many signs I made, to imagine it was my concern for her which made me so; whereupon she expressively enough signified I might be easy, for she did not fear anything happening to her in my absence. On this, as well as I could declare my meaning, I entreated her not to go away before my return. As soon as she understood what I signified to her by actions, she sat down, with her arms across, leaning her head against the wall to assure me she would not stir. However, as I had before nailed a cord to the outside of the door, I tied that for caution's sake to the tree, for fear of the worst: but I believe she had not the least design of removing.

I took my boat, net, and water-cask, as usual, desirous of bringing her home a fresh fish dinner, and succeeded so well as to catch enough for several good meals, and to spare. What remained I salted, and found she liked that better than the fresh, after a few days' salting; though she did not so well approve of that I had formerly pickled and dried. As my salt grew very low, though I had been as sparing of it as possible, I now resolved to try making some; and the next summer I effected it.

Thus we spent the remainder of the winter together, till the days began to be light enough for me to walk abroad a little in the middle of them; for I was now under no apprehensions of her leaving me, as she had before this time had so many opportunities of doing so, but never once attempted it.

I must here make one reflection upon our conduct, which you will almost think incredible, viz., that we two, of different sexes, not wanting our peculiar desires, fully inflamed with love to each other, and no outward obstacle to prevent our wishes, should have been together, under the same roof alone for five months, conversing together from morning to night (for by this time she pretty well understood English, and I her language), and yet I should never have clasped her in my arms, or have shown any further amorous desires to her than what the deference I all along paid her could give her room to surmise. Nay, I can affirm that I did not even then know that the covering she wore was not the work of art, but the work of nature, for I really took it for silk; though it must be premised that I had never seen it by any other light than of my lamp. Indeed the modesty of her carriage and sweetness of her behaviour to me had struck into me such a dread of offending her, that though nothing upon earth could be more capable of exciting passion than her charms, I could have died rather than have attempted only to salute her without actual invitation.

When the weather cleared up a little by the lengthening of daylight, I took courage one afternoon to invite her to walk with me to the lake; but she sweetly excused herself from it, whilst there was such a frightful glare of light, as she said; but looking out at the door, told me, if I would not go out of the wood she would accompany me: so we agreed to take a turn only there. I first went myself over the stile of the door, and thinking it rather too high for her, I took her in my arms and lifted her over. But even when I had her in this manner, I knew not what to make of her clothing, it sat so true and close; but seeing by a steadier and truer light in the grove, though a heavy gloomy one, than my lamp had afforded, I begged she would let me know of what silk or other composition her garment was made. She smiled, and asked me if mine was not the same under my jacket “No, lady,” says I, “I have nothing but my skin under my clothes.”—“Why, what do you mean?” replies she, somewhat tartly; “but indeed I was afraid that something was the matter by that nasty covering you wear, that you might not be seen. Are you not a glumm?”*—“Yes,”says I, “fair creature.” (Here, though you may conceive she spoke part English, part her own tongue, and I the same, as we best understood each other, yet I shall give you our discourse, word for word, in plain English.) “Then,” says she, “I am afraid you must have been a very bad man, and have been crashee,** which I should be very sorry to hear.”

     * A man.

     ** Slit.

I told her I believed we were none of us so good as we might be, but I hoped my faults had not at most exceeded other men's; but I had suffered abundance of hardships in my time; and that at last Providence having settled me in this spot, from whence I had no prospect of ever departing, it was none of the least of its mercies to bring to my knowledge and company the most exquisite piece of all His works, in her, which I should acknowledge as long as I lived. She was surprised at this discourse, and asked me (if I did not mean to impose upon her, and was indeed an ingcrashee* glumm) why I should tell her I had no prospect of departing hence. “Have not you,” says she, “the same prospect that I or any other person has of departing? Sir,” added she, “you don't do well, and really I fear you are slit, or you would not wear this nasty cumbersome coat (taking hold of my jacket-sleeve), if you were not afraid of showing the signs of a bad life upon your natural clothing.”

     * Unslit.

I could not for my heart imagine what way there was to get out of my dominions. But certainly, thought I, there must be some way or other, or she would not be so peremptory. And as to my jacket, and showing myself in my natural clothing, I profess she made me blush; and but for shame, I would have stripped to my skin to have satisfied her. “But, madam,” says I, “pray pardon me, for you are really mistaken; I have examined every nook and corner of this new world in which we now are, and can find no possible outlet; nay, even by the same way I came in, I am sure it is impossible to get out again.”—“Why,” says she, “what outlets have you searched for, or what way can you expect out but the way you came in? And why is that impossible to return by again? If you are not slit, is not the air open to you? Will not the sky admit you to patrole in it, as well as other people? I tell you, sir, I fear you have been slit for your crimes; and though you have been so good to me, that I can't help loving of you heartily for it, yet if I thought you had been slit, I would not, nay, could not, stay a moment longer with you; no, though it should break my heart to leave you.”

I found myself now in a strange quandary, longing to know what she meant by being slit, and had a hundred strange notions in my head whether I was slit or not; for though I knew what the word naturally signified well enough, yet in what manner or by what figure of speech she applied it to me, I had no idea of. But seeing her look a little angrily upon me, “Pray, madam,” says I, “don't be offended, if I take the liberty to ask you what you mean by the word crashee* so often repeated by you; for I am an utter stranger to what you mean by it.”—“Sir,” says she, “pray answer me first how you came here?”—“Madam,” replied I, “will you please to take a walk to the verge of the wood, I will show you the very passage.”—“Sir,” says she, “I perfectly know the range of the rocks all round, and by the least description, without going to see them, can tell from which you descended.”—“In truth,” said I, “most charming lady, I descended from no rock at all; nor would I for a thousand worlds attempt what could not be accomplished but by my destruction.”—“Sir,” says she, in some anger, “it is false, and you impose upon me.”—“I declare to you,” says I, “madam, what I tell you is strictly true; I never was near the summit of any of the surrounding rocks, or anything like it; but as you are not far from the verge of the wood, be so good as to step a little farther and I will show you my entrance in hither.”—“Well,” says she, “now this odious dazzle of light is lessened, I don't care if I do go with you.”

When we came far enough to see the bridge, “There, madam,” says I, “there is my entrance, where the sea pours into this lake from yonder cavern.”—“It is not possible,” says she; “this is another untruth; and as I see you would deceive me, and are not to be believed, farewell; I must be gone. But, hold,” says she, “let me ask you one thing more; that is, by what means did you come through that cavern? You could not have used to have come over the rock?”—“Bless me, madam!” says I, “do you think I and my boat could fly? Come over the rock, did you say? No, madam; I sailed from the great sea, the main ocean, in my boat, through that cavern into this very lake here.”—“What do you mean by your boat?” says she. “You seem to make two things of your boat you say you sailed with and yourself.”—“I do so,” replied I; “for, madam, I take myself to be good flesh and blood, but my boat is made of wood and other materials.”—“Is it so?” says she. “And, pray, where is this boat that is made of wood and other materials?—under your jacket?”—“Lord, madam!” says I, “you put me in fear that you were angry; but now I hope you only joke with me. What, put a boat under my jacket! No, madam; my boat is in the lake.”—“What, more untruths?” says she.—“No, madam,” I replied; “if you would be satisfied of what I say (every word of which is as true as that my boat now is in the lake), pray walk with me thither and make your own eyes judges what sincerity I speak with.” To this she agreed, it growing dusky; but assured me, if I did not give her good satisfaction, I should see her no more.

We arrived at the lake; and going to my wet-dock, “Now, madam,” says I, “pray satisfy yourself whether I spake true or no.” She looked at my boat, but could not yet frame a proper notion of it. Says I, “Madam, in this very boat I sailed from the main ocean through that cavern into this lake; and shall at last think myself the happiest of all men if you continue with me, love me, and credit me; and I promise you I'll never deceive you, but think my life happily spent in your service.” I found she was hardly content yet to believe what I told her of my boat to be true; till I stepped into it, and pushing from the shore, took my oars in my hand, and sailed along the lake by her, as she walked on the shore. At last she seemed so well reconciled to me and my boat, that she desired I would take her in. I immediately did so, and we sailed a good way; and as we returned to my dock I described to her how I procured the water we drank, and brought it to shore in that vessel.

“Well,” says she, “I have sailed, as you call it, many a mile in my lifetime, but never in such a thing as this. I own it will serve very well where one has a great many things to carry from place to place; but to be labouring thus at an oar when one intends pleasure in sailing, is in my mind a most ridiculous piece of slavery.”—“Why, pray, madam, how would you have me sail? for getting into the boat only will not carry us this way or that without using some force.”—“But,” says she, “pray, where did you get this boat, as you call it?”—“O madam!” says I, “that is too long and fatal a story to begin upon now; this boat was made many thousand miles from hence, among a people coal-black, a quite different sort from us; and, when I first had it, I little thought of seeing this country; but I will make a faithful relation of all to you when we come home.” Indeed, I began to wish heartily we were there, for it grew into the night; and having strolled so far without my gun, I was afraid of what I had before seen and heard, and hinted our return; but I found my motion was disagreeable to her, and so I dropped it.

I now perceived and wondered at it, that the later it grew the more agreeable it seemed to her; and as I had now brought her into good-humour again by seeing and sailing in my boat, I was not willing to prevent its increase. I told her, if she pleased, we would land, and when I had docked my boat, I would accompany her where and as long as she liked. As we talked and walked by the lake, she made a little run before me and sprung into it Perceiving this, I cried out, whereupon she merrily called on me to follow her. The light was then so dim, as prevented my having more than a confused sight of her when she jumped in; and looking earnestly after her, I could discern nothing more than a small boat in the water, which skimmed along at so great a rate that I almost lost sight of it presently; but running along the shore for fear of losing her, I met her gravely walking to meet me, and then had entirely lost sight of the boat upon the lake. “This,” says she, accosting me with a smile, “is my way of sailing, which, I perceive, by the fright you were in, you are altogether unacquainted with; and, as you tell me you came from so many thousand miles off, it is possible you may be made differently from me: but, surely we are the part of the creation which has had most care bestowed upon it; and I suspect, from all your discourse, to which I have been very attentive, it is possible you may no more be able to fly than to sail as I do.”—“No, charming creature,” says I, “that I cannot, I'll assure you.” She then, stepping to the edge of the lake, for the advantage of a descent before her, sprung up into the air, and away she went farther than my eyes could follow her.

I was quite astonished. “So,” says I, “then all is over! all a delusion which I have so long been in! a mere phantom! Better had it been for me never to have seen her, than thus to lose her again! But what could I expect had she stayed? For it is plain she is no human composition. But,” says I, “she felt like flesh, too, when I lifted her out at the door!” I had but very little time for reflection; for, in about ten minutes after she had left me in this mixture of grief and amazement, she alighted just by me on her feet.

Her return, as she plainly saw, filled me with a transport not to be concealed; and which, as she afterwards told me, was very agreeable to her. Indeed, I was some moments in such an agitation of mind from these unparalleled incidents, that I was like one thunder-struck; but coming presently to myself, and clasping her in my arms with as much love and passion as I was capable of expressing, and for the first time with any desire,—“Are you returned again, kind angel,” said I, “to bless a wretch who can only be happy in adoring you? Can it be, that you, who have so many advantages over me, should quit all the pleasures that nature has formed you for, and all your friends and relations, to take an asylum in my arms? But I here make you a tender of all I am able to bestow—my love and constancy.”—“Come, come,” says she, “no more raptures; I find you are a worthier man than I thought I had reason to take you for, and I beg your pardon for my distrust whilst I was ignorant of your imperfections; but now I verily believe all you have said is true; and I promise you, as you have seemed so much to delight in me, I will never quit you till death, or other as fatal accident shall part us. But we will now, if you choose, go home; for I know you have been some time uneasy in this gloom, though agreeable to me: for, giving my eyes the pleasure of looking eagerly on you, it conceals my blushes from your sight.”

In this manner, exchanging mutual endearments and soft speeches, hand in hand, we arrived at the grotto; where we that night consummated our nuptials, without farther ceremony than mutual solemn engagements to each other; which are, in truth, the essence of marriage, and all that was there and then in our power.

CHAPTER XVI.

     The author's disappointment at first going to bed with his
     new wife—Some strange circumstances relating thereto—She
     resolves several questions he asks her, and clears up his
     fears as to the voices—A description of swangeans.

Every calm is succeeded by a storm, as is every storm by its calm; for, after supper, in order to give my bride the opportunity of undressing alone, which I thought might be most agreeable the first night, I withdrew into the antechamber till I thought she was laid; and then, having first disposed of my lamp, I moved softly towards her, and stepped into bed too; when, on my nearer approach to her, I imagined she had her clothes on. This struck a thorough damp over me; and asking her the reason of it, not being able to touch the least bit of her flesh but her face and hands, she burst out a-laugh-ing; and, running her hand along my naked side, soon perceived the difference she before had made such doubt of between herself and me. Upon which she fairly told me, that neither she, nor any person she had ever seen before, had any other covering than what they were born with, and which they would not willingly part with but with their lives. This shocked me terribly; not from the horror of the thing itself, or any distaste I had to this covering (for it was quite smooth, warm, and softer than velvet or the finest skin imaginable), but from an apprehension of her being so wholly encased in it, that, though I had so fine a companion, and now a wife, yet I should have no conjugal benefit from her, either to my own gratification, or the increase of our species.

In the height of my impatience I made divers essays for unfolding this covering, but unsuccessfully. Surely, says I, there must be some way of coming at my wishes, or why should she seem so shy of me at first, and now we are under engagements to each other, meet me half way with such a yielding compliance? I could, if I had had time to spare, have gone on, starting objections and answering them, in my own breast, a great while longer (for I now knew not what to make of it); but being prompted to act as well as think, and feeling, as tenderly as possible, upon her bosom, for the folds or plaits of her garment, she lying perfectly still, and perceiving divers flat broad ledges, like whale-bone, seemingly under her covering, which closely enfolded her body, I thought it might be all laced on together somewhat like stays, and felt behind for the lacing.

At length, perceiving me so puzzled, and beyond conception vexed at my disappointment, of asudden, lest I should grow outrageous (which I was almost come to), she threw down all those seeming ribs flat to her side so imperceptibly to me, that I knew nothing of the matter, though I lay close to her; till putting forth my hand again to her bosom, the softest skin, and most delightful body, free from all impediment, presented itself to my wishes, and gave itself up to my embraces.

I slept very soundly till morning, and so did she; but at waking I was very solicitous to find out what sort of being I had had in my arms, and with what qualities her garment was endued, or how contrived that, notwithstanding all my fruitless attempts to uncover her, she herself could so instantaneously dispose of it undiscerned by me. Well, thought I, she is my wife, I will be satisfied in everything; for surely she will not now refuse to gratify my curiosity.

We rose with the light; but surely no two were ever more amorous, or more delighted with each other. I, being up first, lighted the fire, and prepared breakfast of some fish soup, thickened with my cream-cheese; and then calling her, I kept my eye towards the bed to see how she dressed herself; but throwing aside the clothes, she stepped out ready dressed, and came to me. When I had kissed her, and wished her a good day, we sat down to breakfast; which being soon over, I told her I hoped every minute of our lives would prove as happy as those we so lately passed together; which she seemed to wish with equal ardour. I then told her, now she was my wife, I thought proper to know her name, which I had never before asked, for fear of giving uneasiness; for, as I added, I did not doubt she had observed in my behaviour, ever since I first saw her, a peculiar tenderness for her, and a sedulous concern not to offend, which had obliged me hitherto to stifle several questions I had to ask her whenever they would be agreeable to her. She then bid me begin; for as she was now my wife, whilst I was speaking it became her to be all attention, and to give me the utmost satisfaction she could in all I should require, as she herself should have so great an interest in everything for the future which would oblige me.

Compliments (if, in compliance with old custom, I may call them so, for they were by us delivered from the heart) being a little over on both sides, I first desired to know what name she went by before I found her: “For,” says I, “having only hitherto called you madam, and my lady, besides the future expression of my love to you in the word dear, I would know your original name, that so I might join it with that tender epithet.”—“That you shall,” says she, “and also my family at another opportunity; but as my name will not take up long time to repeat at present, it is Youwarkee. And pray,” says she, “now gratify me with the knowledge of yours.”—“My dear Youwarkee,” says I, “my name was Peter Wilkins when I heard it last; but that is so long ago, I had almost forgot it. And now,” says I, “there is another thing you can give me a pleasure in.”—“You need, then, only mention it, my dear Peter,” says she.—“That is,” says I, “only to tell me if you did not, by some accident, fall from the top of the rock over my habitation, upon the roof of it, when I first took you in here; and whether you are of the country upon the rocks?”—She, softly smiling, answered, “My dear Peter, you run your questions too thick. As to my country, which is not on the rocks, as you suppose, but at a vast distance from hence, I shall leave that till I may hereafter, at more leisure, speak of my family, as I promised you before; but as to how I came into this grotto, I knew not at first, but soon perceived your humanity had brought me in, to take care of me, after a terrible fall I had; not from the rock, as you suppose, for then I must not now have been living to enjoy you, but from a far less considerable height in the air. I'll tell you how it happened. A parcel of us young people were upon a merry swangean_* round this arkoe,** which we usually divert ourselves with at set times of the year, chasing and pursuing one another, sometimes soaring to an extravagant height, and then shooting down again with surprising precipitancy, till we even touch the trees; when of a sudden we mount again and away.”

     * Flight.

     ** Water surrounded with a wood.

“I say, being of this party, and pursued by one of my comrades, I descended down to the very trees, and she after me; but as I mounted, she over-shooting me, brushed so stiffly against the upper part of my graundee_* that I lost my bearing; and being so near the branches before I could recover it again, I sunk into the tree, and rendered my graundee useless to me; so that down I came, and that with so much force, that I but just felt my fall, and lost my senses. Whether I cried out or no upon my coming to the ground, I cannot say; but if I did, my companion was too far gone by that time to hear or take notice of me; as she, probably, in so swift a flight, saw not my fall. As to the condition I was in, or what happened immediately afterwards, I must be obliged to you for a relation of that; but one thing I was quickly sensible of, and never can forget, viz., that I owe my life to your care and kindness to me.”

     * The covering and wings of skin they flew with.

I told her she should have that part of her story from me another time. “But,” says I, “there is something so amazing in these flights, or swangeans, as you call them, that I must, as the questions for this day, beg you would let me know what is the method of them. What is the nature of your covering, which was at first such an obstacle to my wishes? How you put it on? And how you use it in your swangean?”

“Surely, my dearest Peter,” says she, “but that I can deny you nothing, since you are my barkatt_* which you seem so passionately to desire, the latter of your questions would not be answered, for it must put me to the blush. As to our method of flight, you saw somewhat of that last night, though in a light hardly sufficient for you; and for the nature of my covering, you perceive that now; but to show you how it is put on, as you call it, I am afraid it will be necessary, as far as I can, to put it off, before I can make you comprehend that; which having done, the whole will be no farther a mystery. But, not to be tedious, is it your command that I uncover? Lay that upon me, it shall be done.”

     * Husband.

Here I was at a plunge whether to proceed or drop the question. Thinks I, if my curiosity should be fatal to me, as I may see something I can never bear hereafter, I am undone. She waits the command! Why so? I know not the consequence! What shall I do? At last, somewhat resolutely, I asked her whether her answer either way to my command would cause her to leave me, or me to love her less? She, seeing my hesitation, and perceiving the cause, was so pleased, that she cried out—“No, my dear Peter, not that, nor all the force on earth, shall ever part me from you. But I conceive you are afraid you shall discover something in me you may not like. I fear not that; but an immodest appearance before you I cannot suffer myself to be guilty of, but under your own command.”—“My lovely Youwarkee,” says I, “delay then my desires no longer; and since you require a warrant from me, I do command you to do it” Immediately her graundee flew open (discovering her naked body just to the hip, and round the rim of her belly) and, expanding itself, was near six feet wide. Here my love and curiosity had a hard conflict; the one to gain my attention to the graundee, and the other to retain my eyes and thoughts on her lovely body, which I had never beheld so much of before. Though I was very unwilling to keep her uncovered too long, I could not easily dismiss so charming a sight I attentively viewed her lovely flesh, and examined the case that enshrined it; but as I shall give you a full description of the graundee hereafter, in a more proper place, I will mention it no farther here, than to tell you that when I had narrowly surveyed the upper part of it, she in a moment contracted it round her so close that the nicest eye could not perceive the joining of the parts. “Indeed, my dear Youwarkee,” says I, “you had the best of reasons for saying you was not fearful I should discover anything in you displeasing; for if my bosom glowed with love before, you have now therein raised an ardent flame, which neither time, nor aught else, will ever be able to extinguish. I now almost conceive how you fly; though yet I am at a loss to know how you extend and make use of the lower part of your graundee, which rises up and meets the upper; but I will rather guess at that by what I have seen, than raise the colour higher in those fair cheeks, which are, however, adorned with blushes.” Then running to her, and taking her in my arms, I called her the dearest gift of Heaven; and left off further interrogatories till another opportunity.

CHAPTER XVII.

     Youwarkee cannot bear a strong light—Wilkins makes her
     spectacles, which help her—A description of them

Youwarkee and I having no other company than one another's, we talked together almost from morn to night, in order to learn each other's dialect But how compilable soever she was in all other respects, I could not persuade her to go out with me to fetch water, or to the lake, in the day-time. It being now the light season, I wanted her to be more abroad; but she excused herself, telling me her people never came into those luminous parts of the country during the false glare, as they called it, but kept altogether at home, where their light was more moderate and steadier; and that the place where I resided was not frequented by them for half the year, and at other times only upon parties of pleasure, it not being worth while to settle habitations where they could not abide always. She said Normnbdsgrsutt was the finest region in the world, where her king's court was, and a vast kingdom. I asked her twice or thrice more to name the country to me, but not all the art we could use, hers in dictating, and mine in endeavouring to pronounce it, would render me conqueror of that her monosyllable (for as such it sounded from her sweet lips); so I relinquished the name to her, telling her whenever she had any more occasion to mention the place, I desired it might be under the style of Doorpt Swangeanti, which she promised; but wondered, as she could speak the other so glibly, as she called it, I could not do so too.

I told her that the light of my native country was far stronger than any I had seen since my arrival at Graundevolet (for that, I found by her, was the name my dominions went by); and that we had a sun, or ball of fire, which rolled over our heads every day, with such a light, and such a heat, that it would sometimes almost scorch one, it was so hot, and was of such brightness that the eye could not look at it without danger of blindness. She was heartily glad, she said, she was not born in so wretched a land; and she did not believe there was any other so good as her own. I thought no benefit could arise from my combating these innocent prejudices, so I let them alone.

She had often lamented to me the difference of our eyesight, and the trouble it was to her that she could not at all times go about with me, till it gave me a good deal of uneasiness to see her concern. At last I told her, that though I believed it would be impossible to reduce my sight to the standard of hers, yet I was persuaded I could bring hers to bear the strongest light I had ever seen in this country. She was mightily pleased with the thought of that, and said she wished I might, for she was sensible of no grief like being obliged to stay at home when I went abroad on my business, and was resolved to try my experiment if I pleased, and in the meantime should heartily pray for the success. I hit on the following invention.

I rummaged over all my old things, and by good luck found an old crape hatband. This I tried myself, single, before my own eyes, in the strongest light we had; but believing I had not yet obscured it enough, I doubled it, and then thought it might do; but for fear it should not I trebled it, and then it seemed too dark for eyes like mine to discover objects through it, and so I judged it would suit hers; for I was determined to produce something, if possible, that would do at first, without repetition of trial, which I thought would only deject her more, by making her look on the matter as impracticable. I now only wanted a proper method for fixing it on her, and this I thought would be easily effected, but had much more difficulty in it than I imagined. A first I purposed to tie the crape over her eyes, but trying it myself, I found it very rough and fretting: I then designed fixing it to an old crown of a hat that held my fish-hooks and lines, and so let it hang down before her face; but that also had its inconveniences, as it would slap her eyes in windy weather, and would be not only useless, but very troublesome in flight; so that I was scarce ever more puzzled before. At last I thought of a method that answered exceedingly well, the hint of which I took from somewhat I had seen with my master when I was at school, which he called goggles, and which he used to tie round his head to screen his eyes in riding. The thing I made upon that plan was composed of old hat, pieces of rams-horn, and the above-mentioned crape.

When I had finished the whole apparatus, I tried it first upon myself, and finding great reason to believe it would perfectly answer the intention, I ran directly to Youwarkee. “Come,” says I, “my dear, will you go with me to the water-rill; for I must fetch some this morning?” She shook her head, and, with tears in her eyes, wished she could. “But,” says she, “let me see how light it is abroad.”—“No,” says I, “my love, you must not look out till you go.”—“Indeed,” says she, “if it did not affect my eyes and head you should not ask me twice.”—“Well,” says I, “my Youwarkee, I am now come to take you with me; and that you may not suffer by it, turn about, and let me apply the remedy I told you of for your sight” She wanted much to see first what it was, but I begged her to forbear till she tried whether it would be useful or not She told me she would absolutely submit to my direction, so I adjusted the thing to her head. “Now,” says I, “you have it on, let us go out and try it, and let me know the moment you find the light offensive, and take particular notice how you are affected.” Hereupon away we marched, and I heard no complaint in all our walk to the lake.

“Now, my dear Youwarkee,” says I, when we got there, “what do you think of my contrivance? Can you see at all?”—“Yes, very well,” says she. “But, my dear Peter, you have taken the advantage of the twilight, I know, to deceive me; and I had rather have stayed at home than have subjected you to return in the night for the sake of my company.” I then assured her it was mid-day, and no later, which pleased her mightily; and, to satisfy her, I untied the string behind, and just let her be convinced it was so. When I had fixed the shade on her head again, she put up her hands and felt the several materials of which it consisted; and after expressing her admiration of it, “So, my dear Peter,” says she, “you have now encumbered yourself with a wife indeed, for since I can come abroad in a glaring light with so much ease, you will never henceforward be without my company.”

Youwarkee being thus in spirits, we launched the boat, watered, took a draught of fish, and returned; passing the night at home, in talking of the spectacles (for that was the name I told her they must go by) and of the fishing, for that exercise delighted her to a great degree. But, above all, the spectacles were her chief theme; she handled them and looked at them again and again, and asked several rational questions about them; as, how they could have that effect on her eyes, enabling her to see, and the like. She ventured out with them next day by herself; and, as she threatened, was as good as her word, for she scarcely afterwards let me go abroad by myself, but accompanied me everywhere freely, and with delight.

CHAPTER XVIII.

     Youwarkee with child—Their stock of provisions—No beast or
     fish in Youwarkeis country—The voices again—Her reason for
     not seeing those who uttered them—She bears a son—A hard
     speech in her lying-in—Divers birds appear—Their eggs
     gathered—How Wilkits kept account of time

About three months after we were married, as we called it, Youwarkee told me she believed she was breeding, and I was mightily pleased with it, for though I had had two children before by Patty, yet I had never seen either of them, so that I longed to be a father. I sometimes amused myself with whimsical conjectures, as, whether the child would have a graundee or not; which of us it would be most like; how we should do without a midwife; and what must become of the infant, as we had not milk, in case Youwarkee could not suckle it. Indeed, I had leisure enough for indulging such reveries; for, having laid in our winter stores, my wife and I had nothing to do but enjoy ourselves over a good fire, prattling and toying together, making as good cheer as we could; and truly that was none of the worst, for we had as fine bread as need to be eaten; we had pears preserved; all sorts of dried fish; and once a fortnight, for two or three days together, had fresh fish; we had vinegar, and a biting herb which I had found, for pepper; and several sorts of nuts; so there was no want.

It was at this time, after my return from watering one day, where Youwarkee had been with me, that, having taken several fish, and amongst them some I had not before seen, I asked her, as we were preparing and salting some of them, how they managed fish in her country, and what variety they had of them there. She told me she neither ever saw nor heard of a fish in her life till she came to me. “How!” says I, “no fish amongst you? Why, you want one of the greatest dainties that can be set upon a table. Do you wholly eat flesh,” says I, “at Doorpt Swangeanti?”—“Flesh,” says she laughingly, “of what?”—“Nay,” says I, “you know best what the beasts of your own country are. We have in England, where I was born and bred, oxen, very large hogs, sheep, lambs, and calves; these make our ordinary dishes: then we have deer, hares, rabbits, and these are reckoned dainties; besides numberless kinds of poultry, and fish without stint”—“I never heard of any of these things in my life,” says Youwarkee, “nor did I ever eat anything but fruits and herbs, and what is made from them, at Normnbdsgrsutt.”—“You will speak that crabbed word,” says I, “again.”—“I beg your pardon, my dear,” says she; “at Doorpt Swangeanti, I say; nor I, nor any one else, to my knowledge, ever ate any such thing; but seeing you eat fish, as you call them, I made no scruple of doing so too, and like them very well, especially the salted ones, for I never tasted what you call salt neither till I came here.”—“I cannot think,” says I, “what sort of a country yours is, or how you all live there.”—“Oh,” says she, “there is no want; I wish you and I were there.” I was afraid I had talked too much of her country already, so we called a new cause.

Soon after winter had set in, as we were in bed one night, I heard the voices again; and though my wife had told me of her countryfolk's swangeans in that place, I, being frighted a little, waked her; and she hearing them too, cried out, “There they are! it is ten to one but my sister or some of our family are there. Hark! I believe I hear her voice.” I myself hearkened very attentively; and by this time understanding a great deal of their language, I not only could distinguish different speakers, but knew the meaning of several of the words they pronounced.

I would have had Youwarkee have gotten up and called to them. “Not for the world,” says she; “have you a mind to part with me? Though I have no intent to leave you, as I am with child, if they should try to force me away without my consent, I may receive some injury, to the danger of my own life, or at least of the child's.” This reason perfectly satisfying me, endeared the loving creature to me ten times more, if possible, than ever.

The next summer brought me a yawm,* as fair as alabaster.

     * Man-child.

My wife was delivered without the usual assistance, and had as favourable a labour as could be. The first thing I did, after giving her some fish-soup, made as skilfully as I was able, and a little cordial, was to see if my yawm had the graundee or not. Finding it had—“So,” says I to Youwarkee, “you have brought me a legitimate heir to my dominions, whose title sure cannot be disputed, being one of you.” Though I spoke this with as much pleasure, and in as endearing a way as ever I spoke in my life, and quite innocently, the poor Youwarkee burst into tears to such excess there was no pacifying her. I asked her the reason of her grief, begged and entreated her to let me know what disturbed her, but all in vain; till, seeing me in a violent passion, such as I had never before appeared to be in, she told me she was very sorry I should question her fidelity to me. She surprised me in saying this, as I never had any such apprehension. “No, my dearest wife,” says I, “I never had any such suspicion as you charge me with, I can safely affirm; nor can I comprehend your meaning by imputing such a thing to me.”—“Oh!” says she, “I am sure you have no cause for it; but you said the poor child was one of us; as much as to intimate that had it been your own, it would have been born as you were, without the graundee, which thought I cannot bear, and if you continue to think so it must end me; therefore take away my life now, rather than let me live to see my farther misery.”

I was heartily sorry for what I had said, when I saw the effects of it, though I did not imagine it could have been perverted to such a contrary meaning. But considering her to be the faithful-lest and most loving creature upon earth, and that true love cannot bear anything that touches upon or can be applied (though with ever so forced a construction) to an opprobrious or contemptuous meaning, I attributed her groundless resentment to her excess of fondness only for me; and falling upon the bed by her, and bathing her face in my tears, I assured her the interpretation she had put on my words was altogether foreign from the view they were spoken with; professing to her that I never had, nor ever could have, the least cause of jealousy. On my confirming this absolute confidence in her virtue by the strongest asseverations, she grew fully convinced of her error, and acknowledged she had been too rash in censuring me; and growing pleased at my fresh professions of love to her, we presently were reconciled, and became again very good friends.

When Youwarkee had gathered strength again, she proved an excellent nurse to my Pedro (for that was the name I gave him), so that he soon grew a charming child, able to go in his twelvemonth, and spoke in his twentieth. This and two other lovely boys I had by her in three years, every one of which she brought up with the breast, and they thrived delicately.

I don't mention the little intervening occurrences which happened during this period; they consisted chiefly of the old rota of fishing, watering, providing in the summer for the winter, and in managing my salt-work; which altogether kept me at full employment, comfortably to maintain an increasing family.

In this time I had found out several new sorts of eatables. I had observed, as I said before, abundance of birds about the wood and lake in the summer months. These, by firing at them two or three times on my first coming, I had almost caused to desert my dominions. But as I had for the last two or three years given no disturbance at all to them, they were now in as great plenty as ever; and I made great profit of them by the peace they enjoyed; and yet my table never wanted a supply, fresh in the summer, or salted and pickled in winter.

I took notice it was about October these birds used to come; and most of the month of November they were busy in laying their eggs, which I used at that time to find in great plenty along the banks of the lake in the reeds, and made great collections of them; I used also to find a great many in the woods amongst the shrubs and underwood. These furnished our table various ways; for with my cream-cheese flour, and a little mixture of ram's-horn juice, I had taught my wife to make excellent puddings of them; abundance of them also we ate boiled or fried alone, and often as sauce to our fish. As for the birds themselves, having long omitted to fire at them, I had an effectual means of taking them otherwise by nets, which I set between the trees, and also very large pitfall nets, with which I used to catch all sorts, even from the size of a thrush to that of a turkey. But as I shall say more of these when I come to speak of my ward by and by, and of my poultry, I shall omit any further mention of them here.

You may perhaps wonder how I could keep an account of my time so precisely, as to talk of the particular months. I will tell you. At my coming from America, I was then exact; for we set sail the fourteenth of November, and struck the first or second day of February. So far I kept perfect reckoning; but after that I was not so exact, though I kept it as well as my perplexity would admit even then, till the days shortening upon me, prevented it.

Hereupon I set about making a year for myself. I found the duration of the comparative darkness, or what might with me be termed night, in the course of the twenty-four hours, or day, gradually increased for six months; after which it decreased reciprocally for an equal time, and the lighter part of the day took its turn, as in our parts of the world, only inversely: so that as the light's decrease became sensible about the middle of March, it was at the greatest pitch the latter end of August, or beginning of September; and from thence, on the contrary, went on decreasing to the close of February, when I had the longest portion of light. Hereupon, dividing my year into two seasons only, I began the winter half in March, and the summer half in September. Thus my winter was the spring and summer quarters in Europe, and my summer those of our autumn and winter.

From my settling this matter, I kept little account of days or weeks, but only reckoned my time by summer and winter, so that I am pretty right as to the revolutions of these; though the years, as to their notation, I kept no account of, nor do I know what year of the Lord it now is.

CHAPTER XIX.

     Wilkins's concern about clothing for Pedro, his eldest son—
     His discourse with his wife about the ship—Her flight to
     it—His melancholy reflections till her return—An account
     of what she had done, and of what she brought—She clothes
     her children, and takes a second flight

As my boy Pedro grew up, though, as I said before, he had the graundee, yet it was of less dimensions than it ought to have been to be useful to him, so that it was visible he could never fly; for it would scarce meet before, whereas it ought to have reached from side to side both ways. This pleased my wife to the heart; for now she was sure, whatever I had done before, I could not suspect her. Be that as it will, the boy's graundee not being a sufficient vestment for him, it became necessary he should be clothed.

I turned over my hoard, but could find nothing that would do; or, at least, that we knew how to fit him with. I had described my own country vest for lads to Youwarkee, and she formed a tolerable idea of it, but we had no tackle to alter anything with. “Oh, my dear,” says I, “had I but been born with the graundee, I need not be now racking my brains to get my child clothes.”—“What do you mean by that?” says she.—“Why,” says I, “I would have flown to my ship (for I had long before related to her all my sea adventures, till the vessel's coming to the magnetical rock), and have brought some such things from thence, as you, not wanting them in this country, can have no notion of.” She seemed mighty inquisitive to understand how a ship was made, what it was most like to, how a person who never saw one might know it only by the description, and how one might get into it; with abundance of the like questions. She then inquired what sort of things those needles and several other utensils were, which I had at times been speaking of; and in what part of a ship they usually kept such articles. And I, to gratify her curiosity, as I perceived she took a pleasure in hearing me, answered all her questions to a scruple; not then conceiving the secret purpose of all this inquisitiveness.

About two days after this, having been out two or three hours in the morning, to cut wood, at coming home I found Pedro crying, ready to break his heart, and his little brother Tommy hanging to him and crawling about the floor after him: the youngest pretty baby was fast asleep upon one of the beast-fish skins, in a corner of the room. I asked Pedro for his mother; but the poor infant had nothing farther to say to the matter, than “Mammy run away, I cry! mammy run away, I cry!” I wondered where she was gone, never before missing her from our habitation. However, I waited patiently till bed-time, but no wife. I grew very uneasy then; yet, as my children were tired and sleepy, I thought I had best go to bed with them, and make quiet; so, giving all three their suppers, we lay down together. They slept; but my mind was too full to permit the closure of my eyes. A thousand different chimeras swam in my imagination relating to my wife. One while I fancied her carried away by her kinsfolks; then, that she was gone of her own accord to make peace with her father. But that thought would not fix, being put aside by her constant tenderness to her children and regard to me, whom I was sure she would not have left without notice. “But alas!” says I, “she may even now be near me, but taken so ill she cannot get home, or she may have died suddenly in the wood.” I lay tumbling and tossing in great anxiety, not able to find out any excusable occasion she could have of so long absence. And then, thinks I, if she should either be dead, or have quite left me, which will be of equally bad consequence to me, what can I do with three poor helpless infants? If they were a little more grown up, they might be helpful to me and to each other; but at their age how shall I ever rear them without the tenderness of a mother? And to see them pine away before my face, and not know how to help them, will distract me.

Finding I could neither sleep nor lie still, I rose, intending to search all the woods about, and call to her, that if any accident had prevented sight of her she might at least hear me. But upon opening the door, and just stepping out, how agreeably was I surprised to meet her coming in, with something on her arm. “My dear Youwarkee,” says I, “where have you been? What has befallen you to keep you out so long? The poor children have been at their wits' end to find you; and I, my dear, have been inconsolable, and was now, almost distracted, coming in search of you.” Youwarkee looked very blank, to think what concern she had given me and the children. “My dearest Peter,” says she, kissing me, “pray forgive me the only thing I have ever done to offend you, and the last cause you shall ever have, by my good will, to complain of me; but walk within doors, and I will give you a farther account of my absence. Don't you remember what delight I took the other day to hear you talk of your ship?”—“Yes,” says I, “you did so; but what of that?”—“Nay, pray,” says she, “forgive me, for I have been to see it.”—“That's impossible,” says I; and truly this was the first time I ever thought she went about to deceive me.—“I do assure you,” says she, “I have; and a wonderful thing it is! But if you distrust me, and what I say, I have brought proof of it; step out with me to the verge of the wood, and satisfy yourself.”—“But pray,” says I, “who presented you with this upon your arm?”—“I vow,” says she, “I had forgot this: yes, this will, I believe, confirm to you what I have said.”—I turned it over and over; and looking wistfully upon her, says I, “This waistcoat, indeed, is the very fellow to one that lay in the captain's locker in the cabin”—“Say not the very fellow,” says she, “but rather say the very same, for I'll assure you it is so; and had you been with me, we might have got so many things for ourselves and the children, we should never have wanted more, though we had lived these hundred years; but as it is, I have left something without the wood for you to bring up.” When we had our talk out, she, hearing the children stir, took them up, and was going, as she always did, to get their breakfasts. “Hold,” says I, “this journey must have fatigued you too much already; lay yourself to rest, and leave everything else to me.”—“My dear,” says she, “you seem to think this flight tiresome, but you are mistaken; I am more weary with walking to the lake and back again, than with all the rest. Oh,” says she, “if you had but the graundee, flying would rest you, after the greatest labour; for the parts which are moved with exercise on the earth, are all at rest in flight; as, on the contrary, the parts used in flight are when on earthly travel. The whole trouble of flight is in mounting from the plain ground; but when once you are upon the graundee at a proper height, all the rest is play, a mere trifle; you need only think of your way, and incline to it, your graundee directs you as readily as your feet obey you on the ground, without thinking of every step you take; it does not require labour, as your boat does, to keep you a-going.”

After we had composed ourselves, we walked to the verge of the wood, to see what cargo my wife had brought from the ship. I was astonished at the bulk of it; and seeing, by the outside, it consisted of clothes, I took it with much ado upon my shoulders and carried it home. But upon opening it, I found far more treasure than I could have imagined; for there was a hammer, a great many spikes and nails, three spoons, about five plates of pewter, four knives and a fork, a small china punchbowl, two chocolate cups, a paper of needles, and several of pins, a parcel of coarse thread, a pair of shoes, and abundance of such other things as she had heard me wish for and describe; besides as much linen and woollen, of one sort or another, as made a good package for all the other things; with a great tin porridge-pot, of about two gallons, tied to the outside; and all these as nicely stowed as if she had been bred a packer.

When I had viewed the bundle, and poised the weight, “How was it possible, my dear You-warkee,” said I, “for you to bring all this? You could never carry them in your hands.”—“No, no,” replied she, “I carried them on my back.”—“Is it possible,” says I, “for your graundee to bear yourself and all this weight too in the air, and to such a height as the top of these rocks?”—“You will always,” replies she, “make the height a part of your difficulty in flying; but you are deceived, for as the first stroke (I have heard you say often) in fighting is half the battle, so it is in flying; get but once fairly on the wind, nothing can hurt you afterwards. My method, let me tell you, was this; I climbed to the highest part of the ship, where I could stand clear, having first put up my burden, which you have there; and then getting that on my back near my shoulders, I took the two cords you see hang loose to it in my two hands, and extending my graundee, leaped off flatwise with my face towards the water; when instantly playing two or three good strokes with my graundee, I was out of danger; now, if I had found the bundle too heavy to make my first strokes with, I should directly have turned on my back, dropped my bundle, and floated in my graundee to the ship again, as you once saw me float on the lake.” Says I, “You must have flown a prodigious distance to the lake, for I was several days sailing, I believe three weeks, from my ship, before I reached the gulf; and after that could be little less than five weeks (as I accounted for it), and at a great rate of sailing too under the rock, before I reached the lake; so that the ship must be a monstrous way off.” “No, no,” says she, “your ship lies but over yon cliff, that rises as it were with two points; and as to the rock itself, it is not broader than our lake is long; but what made you so tedious in your passage was many of the windings and turnings in the cavern returning in to themselves again; so that you might have gone round and round till this time, if the tide had not luckily struck you into the direct passage: this,” says she, “I have heard from some of my countrymen, who have flown up it, but could never get quite through.”

“I wish with all my heart,” says I, “fortune had brought me first to light in this country; or (but for your sake I could almost say) had never brought me into it at all; for to be a creature of the least significancy, of the whole race but one, is a melancholy circumstance.”—“Fear not,” says she, “my love, for you have a wife will hazard all for you, though you are restrained; and as my inclinations and affections are so much yours, that I need but know your desires to execute them as far as my power extends, surely you, who can act by another, may be content to forego the trouble of your own performance. I perceive, indeed,” continued she, “you want mightily to go to your ship, and are more uneasy now you know it is safe than you was before; but that being past my skill to assist you in, if you will command your deputy to go backwards and forwards in your stead, I am ready to obey you.”

Thus ended our conversation about the ship for that time. But it left not my mind so soon; for a stronger hankering after it pursued me now than ever since my wife's flight, but to no purpose.

We sat us down and sorted out our cargo, piece by piece; and having found several things proper for the children, my wife longed to enter upon some piece of work towards clothing Pedro in the manner she had heard me talk of, and laid hard at me to show her the use of the needles, thread, and other things she had brought. Indeed I must say she proved very tractable; and from the little instruction I was able to give her, soon out-wrought my knowledge; for I could only show her that the thread went through the needle, and both through the cloth to hold it together; but for anything else I was as ignorant as she. In much less time than I could have imagined, she had clothed my son Pedro, and had made a sort of mantle for the youngest. But now seeing us so smart (for I took upon me sometimes to wear the green waistcoat she had brought under my dirty jacket), she began to be ashamed of herself, as she said, in our fine company; and afterwards (as I shall soon acquaint you) got into our fashion.

Seeing the advantages her flight to the ship, and that so many conveniences arose from it, she was frequently at me to let her go again. I should as much have wished for another return of goods as she, but I could by no means think of parting with my factor; for I knew her eagerness to please me, and that she would stick at nothing to perform it. And, thinks I, should any accident happen to her, by over-loading or otherwise, and I should lose her, all the other commodities of the whole world put together would not compensate her loss. But as she so earnestly desired it, and assured me she would run no hazards, I was prevailed on at length, by her incessant importunities, to let her go; though under certain restrictions which she promised me to comply with. As first, I insisted upon it that she should take a tour quite round the rock, setting out the same way I had last gone with my boat; and, if possible, find out the gulf, which I told her she could not mistake, by reason of the noise the fall of the water made; and desired her to remark the place, so as I might know within-side where it was without. And then I told her she might review and search every hole in the ship as she pleased; and if there were any small things she had a mind to bring from it, she was welcome, provided the bundle she should make up was not above a fourth part either of the bulk or weight of the last. All which she having engaged punctually to observe, she bade me not expect her till I saw her, and she would return as soon as possible. I then went with her to the confines of the wood (for I told her I desired to see her mount), and she, after we had embraced, bidding me to stand behind her, took her flight.

CHAPTER XX.

     The Author observes her flight—A description of a glumm
     in the graundee—She finds out the gulf not far from the
     ship—Brings home more goods—Makes her a gown by her
     husband's instruction

I had ever since our marriage been desirous of seeing Youwarkee fly; but this was the first opportunity I had of it; and indeed the sight was worthy of all the attention I paid it; for I desired her slowly to put herself in proper order for it, that I might make my observation the more accurately; and shall now give you an account of the whole apparatus, though several parts of the description were taken from subsequent views; for it would have been impossible to have made just remarks of everything at that once, especially as I only viewed her back parts then.

I told you before, I had seen her graundee open, and quite extended as low as her middle; but that being in the grotto by lamplight, I could not take so just a survey as now, when the sort of light we ever had was at the brightest.

She first threw up two long branches or ribs of the whalebone, as I called it before (and indeed for several of its properties, as toughness, elasticity, and pliableness, nothing I have ever seen can so justly be compared to it), which were jointed behind to the upper bone of the spine, and which, when not extended, lie bent over the shoulders on each side of the neck forwards, from whence, by nearer and nearer approaches, they just meet at the lower rim of the belly in a sort of point; but when extended, they stand their whole length above the shoulders, not perpendicularly, but spreading outwards, with a web of the softest and most pliable and springy membrane that can be imagined, in the interstice between them, reaching from their root or joint on the back up above the hinder part of the head, and near half-way their own length; but when closed, the membrane falls down in the middle upon the neck, like a handkerchief. There are also two other ribs rising as it were from the same root, which, when open, run horizontally, but not so long as the others. These are filled up in the interstice between them and the upper ones with the same membrane; and on the lower side of this is also a deep flap of the membrane, so that the arms can be either above or below it in flight, and are always above it when closed. This last rib, when shut, flaps under the upper one, and also falls down with it before to the waist, but is not joined to the ribs below. Along the whole spine-bone runs a strong, flat, broad, grisly cartilage, to which are joined several other of these ribs; all which open horizontally, and are filled in the interstices with the above membrane, and are jointed to the ribs of the person just where the plane of the back begins to turn towards the breast and belly; and, when shut, wrap the body round to the joints on the contrary side, folding neatly one side over the other. At the lower spine are two more ribs, extended horizontally when open, jointed again to the hips, and long enough to meet the joint on the contrary side cross the belly; and from the hip-joint, which is on the outermost edge of the hip-bone, runs a pliable cartilage quite down the outside of the thigh and leg to the ankle; from which there branch out divers other ribs horizontally also when open, but when closed, they encompass the whole thigh and leg, rolling inwards cross the back of the leg and thigh till they reach and just cover the cartilage. The interstices of these are also filled up with the same membrane. From the two ribs which join to the lower spine-bone, there hangs down a sort of short apron, very full of plaits, from hip-joint to hip-joint, and reaches below the buttocks, half-way or more to the hams. This has also several small limber ribs in it. Just upon the lower spine-joint, and above the apron, as I call it, there are two other long branches, which, when close, extend upon the back from the point they join at below to the shoulders, where each rib has a clasper, which reaching over the shoulders, just under the fold of the uppermost branch or ribs, hold up the two ribs flat to the back like a V, the interstices of which are also filled up with the aforesaid membrane. This last piece, in flight, falls down almost to the ankles, where the two claspers lapping under each leg within-side, hold it very fast; and then also the short apron is drawn up by-the strength of the ribs in it, between the thighs forward, and covers the pudenda and groin as far as the rim of the belly. The whole arms are covered also from the shoulders to the wrist with the same delicate membrane, fastened to ribs of proportionable dimensions, and jointed to a cartilage on the outside in the same manner as on the legs.

It is very surprising to feel the difference of these ribs when open and when closed; for, closed, they are as pliable as the finest whalebone, or more so, but when extended, are as strong and stiff as a bone. They are tapering from the roots, and are broader or narrower as best suits the places they occupy, and the stress they are put to, up to their points, which are almost as small as a hair. The membrane between them is the most elastic thing I ever met with, occupying no more space, when the ribs are closed, than just from rib to rib, as flat and smooth as possible; but when extended in some postures, will dilate itself surprisingly. This will be better comprehend by the plates, where you will see several figures of glumms and gawrys in different attitudes, than can be expressed by words.

As soon as my wife had expanded the whole graundee, being upon plain ground, she stooped forward, moving with a heavy wriggling motion at first, which put me into some pain for her; but after a few strokes, beginning to rise a little, she cut through the air like lightning, and was soon over the edge of the rock and out of my sight.

It is the most amazing thing in the world to observe the large expansion of this graundee when open; and when closed (as it all is in a moment upon the party's descent) to see it sit so close and compact to the body, as no tailor can come up to it; and then the several ribs lie so justly disposed in the several parts, that instead of being, as one would imagine, a disadvantage to the shape, they make the body and limbs look extremely elegant; and by the different adjustment of their lines on the body and limbs, the whole, to my fancy, somewhat resembles the dress of the old Roman warriors in their buskins; and, to appearance, seems much more noble than any fictitious garb I ever saw, or can frame a notion of to myself.

Though these people, in height, shape, and limb, very much resemble the Europeans, there is yet this difference, that their bodies are rather broader and flatter, and their limbs, though as long and well shaped, are seldom as thick as ours. And this I observed generally in all I saw of them during a long time among them afterwards; but their skin, for beauty and fairness, exceeds ours very much.

My wife having now taken her second flight, I went home, and never left my children till her return; this was three days after our parting. I was in bed with my little ones when she knocked at the door. I soon let her in, and we received each other with a glowing welcome. The news she brought me was very agreeable. She told me she first went and pried into every nook in the ship, where she had seen such things, could we get at them, as would make us very happy. Then she set out the way I told her to go, in order to find the gulf. She was much afraid she should not have discovered it, though she flew very slow, that she might be sure to hear the waterfall and not over-shoot it. It was long ere she came at it; but when she did, she perceived she might have spared most of her trouble, had she set out the other way; for, after she had flown almost round the island, and not before, she began to hear the fall, and upon coming up to it, found it to be not above six minutes' flight from the ship. She said the entrance was very narrow, and, she thought, lower than I represented it; for she could scarce discern any space between the surface of the water and the arch-way of the rock. I told her that might happen from the rise or fall of the sea itself. But I was glad to hear the ship was no farther from the gulf; for my head was never free from the thoughts of my ship and cargo. She then told me she had left a small bundle for me without the wood, and went to look after her children. I brought up the bundle, and though it was not near so large as the other, I found several useful things in it, wrapped up in four or five yards of dark blue woollen cloth, which I knew no name for, but which was thin and light, and about a yard wide. I asked her where she met with this stuff; she answered, where there was more of it, under a thing like our bed, in a cloth like our sheet, which she cut open, and took it out of.—“Well,” says I, “and what will you do with this?”—“Why, I will make me a coat like yours,” says she, “for I don't like to look different from my dear husband and children.”—“No, Youwarkee,” replied I, “you must not do so; if you make such a jacket as mine, there will be no distinction between glumm and gawry;* the gowren praave,** in my country, would not on any account go dressed like a glumm; for they wear a fine flowing garment called a gown, that sits tight about the waist, and hangs down from thence in folds, like your barras, *** almost to the ground, so that you can hardly discern their feet, and no other part of their body but their hands and face, and about as much of their neck and breasts as you see in your graundee.”

     * Man and woman.

     ** Modest women.

     ***The back flap of the graundee.

Youwarkee seemed highly delighted with this new-fancied dress, and worked day and night at it against the cold weather. Whilst she employed herself thus, I was busied in providing my winter stores, which I was forced to do alone now, herself and children taking up all my wife's time. About a fortnight after she had begun mantua-making, she presented herself to me one day, as I came from work, in her new gown; and, truly, considering the scanty description I had given her of such a garment, it appeared a good comely dress. Though it had not one plait about the body, it sat very tight thereto, and yet hung down full enough for a countess; for she would have put it all in (all the stuff she had) had there been as much more of it. I could see no opening before, so asked her how she got it on. She told me she laid along on the ground, and crept through the plaits at the bottom, and sewed the body round her after she had got her hands and arms through the sleeves. I wondered at her contrivance; and, smiling, showed her how she should put it on, and also how to pin it before: and after she had done that, and I had turned up about half a yard of sleeve, which then hung down to her fingers' ends, I kissed her, and called her my country-woman; of which, and her new gown, she was very proud for a long time.

CHAPTER XXI.

     The Author gets a breed of poultry, and by what means—
     Builds them a house—How he managed to keep them in winter

One day, as I was traversing the woods to view my bird-traps, looking into the underwood among the great trees on my right hand, I saw a wood-hen (a bird I used to call so, from its resemblance in make to our English poultry) come out of a little thicket. I know not whether my rustling or what had disturbed it; but I let her pass, and she ran away before me. When she was fairly out of sight, I stepped up, and found she had a nest and sixteen eggs there. I exactly marked the place, and taking away one of the eggs, I broke it, at some distance from the nest, to see how forward they were; and I had no sooner broke the shell but out came a young chicken. I then looked into the nest again, and taking up more of the eggs, I found them all just splintered in the shell, and ready for hatching. I had immediately a desire to save them, and bring them up tame; but I was afraid if I took them away before they were hatched, and a little strengthened under the hen, they would all die; so I let them remain till next day. In the meanwhile I prepared some small netting of such a proper size as I conceived would do, and with this I contrived, by fastening it to stakes which I fixed in the ground, to surround the nest, and me on the outside of it. All the while I was doing this, the hen did not stir, so that I thought she had either been absent when I came, or had hatched and gone off with the young ones. As to her being gone I was under no concern; for I had no design to catch her, but only to confine the chickens within my net if they were hatched. But, however, I went nearer, and peeping in, found she sat still, squeezing herself as flat to the ground as she could. I was in twenty minds whether to take her first, and then catch the chickens, or to let her go off, and then clap upon them; but as I proposed to let her go, I thought if she would sit still till I had got the chickens, that would be the best way; so I softly kneeled down before her, and sliding my hand under her, I gently drew out two, and put them in a bag I had in my left hand. I then dipped again and again, taking two every turn; but going a fourth time, as I was bringing out my prize, the hen jumped up, flew out, and made such a noise that, though I the minute before saw six or seven more chicks in a lump where she had sat, and kept my eye upon them, yet before I could put the last two I had got into my bag, these were all gone, and in three hours' search I could not find one of them, though I was sure they could not pass my net, and must be within the compass of a small room, my toils enclosing no more. After tiring myself with looking for them, I marched home with those eight I had got.

I told Youwarkee what I had done, and how I intended to manage the little brood, and, if I could, to bring them up tame. We kept them some days very warm by the fire, and fed them often, as I had seen my mother do with her early chickens; and in a fortnight's time they were as stout and familiar as common poultry. We kept them a long while in the house; and when I fed them I always used them to a particular whistle, which I also taught my wife, that they might know both us and their feeding-time; and in a very short while they would come running, upon the usual sound, like barn-door fowls to the name of Biddy.

There happened in this brood to be five hens and three cocks; and they were now so tame that, having cut their wings, I let them out, when the weather favoured, at my door, where they would pick about in the wood, and get the best part of their subsistence; and having used them to roost in a corner of my ante-chamber, they all came in very regularly at night and took their places. My hens, at the usual season, laid me abundance of eggs, and hatched me a brood or two each of chickens; so that now I was at a loss to know what to do with them, they were become so numerous. The ante-chamber was no longer a proper receptacle of such a flock, and therefore I built a little house, at a small distance from my own, on purpose for their reception and entertainment. I had by this time cleared a spot of ground on one side of my grotto, by burning up the timber and underwood which had covered it: this I enclosed, and within that enclosure I raised my aviary, and my poultry thrived very well there, seemed to like their habitation, and grew very fat.

My wife and I took much delight in visiting and feeding them, and it was a fine diversion also to my boys; but at the end of summer, when all the other birds took their annual flight, away went every one of my new-raised brood with them, and one of my old cocks, the rest of the old set remaining very quiet with me all the winter. The next summer, when my chicks of that year grew up a little, I cut their wings, and by that means preserved all but one, which I suppose was either not cut so close as the rest, or his wings had grown again. From this time I found, by long experience, that not two out of a hundred that had once wintered with me would ever go away, though I did not cut their wings; but all of the same season would certainly go off with the wild ones, if they could any ways make a shift to fly. I afterwards got a breed of blacknecks, which was a name I gave them from the peculiar blackness of their necks, let the rest of their bodies be of what colour they would, as they are, indeed, of all colours. These birds were as big, or bigger, than a turkey, of a delicious flavour, and were bred from turkey eggs hatched under my own wood-hens in great plenty. I was forced to clip these as I did the other young fowl, to keep them, and at length they grew very tame, and would return every night during the dark season. The greatest difficulty now was to get meat for all these animals in the winter, when they would sit on the roost two days together if I did not call and feed them, which I was sometimes forced to do by lamp-light, or they would have starved in cloudy weather. But I overcame that want of food by an accidental discovery; for I observed my blacknecks in the woods jump many times together at a sort of little round heads, or pods, very dry, which hung plentifully upon a shrub that grew in great abundance there. I cut several of these heads, and carrying them home with me, broke them, and took out a spoonful or more from each head of small yellow seeds, which giving to my poultry, and finding they greedily devoured them, I soon laid in a stock for twice my number of mouths, so that they never after wanted. I tried several times to raise a breed of water-fowl by hatching their eggs under my hens; but not one in ten of the sorts, when hatched, were fit to eat; and those that were would never live and thrive with me, but go away to the lake, I having no sort of water nearer me; so I dropped my design of water-fowl as impracticable. But by breeding and feeding my land-fowl so constantly in my farmyard, I never wanted of that sort at my table, where we eat abundance of them; for my whole side of the lake in a few years was like a farmyard, so full of poultry that I never knew my stock; and upon the usual whistle they would flock round me from all quarters. I had everything now but cattle, not only for the support, but convenience and pleasure of life; and so happily should I have fared here, if I had had but a cow and bull, a ram and sheep, that I would not have changed my dominions for the crown of England.

CHAPTER XXII.

     Reflections on mankind—The Author wants to be with his
     ship—Projects going, but perceives it impracticable—
     Youwarkee offers her service y and goes—An account of her
     transactions on board-Remarks on her sagacity—She
     despatches several chests of goods through the gulf to the
     lake—An account of a danger she escaped—The Author has a
     fit of sickness

Strange is the temper of mankind, who, the more they enjoy, the more they covet. Before I received any return from my ship, I rested tolerably easy, and but seldom thought upon what I had left behind me in her, thinking myself happy in what I had, and completely so since my union with my dear wife; but after I had got what I could never have expected, I grew more and more perplexed for want of the rest, and thought I should never enjoy true happiness while even a plank of the ship remained. My head, be I where I would, or at what I would, was ever on board. I wished for her in the lake, and could I but have got her thither, I thought I should be an emperor; and though I wanted for nothing to maintain life, and had so good a wife and five children I was very fond of, yet the one thing I had not, reduced the comfort of all the rest to a scanty pattern, even so low as to destroy my whole peace. I was even mad enough to think of venturing up the cavern again, but was restrained from the attempt by the certain impracticableness of it Then I thought Youwarkee should make another trip to the ship. But what can she bring from it, says I to myself, in respect of what must be left behind? Her whole life will not suffice to clear it in, at the rate she can fetch the loading hither in parcels. At last a project started, that as there were so many chests on board, Youwarkee should fill some of them and send them through the gulf to take their chance for the lake. This, at first sight, seemed feasible; but then I considered how they could be got from the ship to the gulf; and again, that they would never keep out the water, and if they filled with a lading in them they would sink; or, if this did not happen, they might be dashed to pieces against the crags in the cavern. These apprehensions stopped me again; till, unwilling to quit the thought, “True,” says I, “this may happen to some; but if I get but one in five, it is better than nothing.” Thus I turned and wound the affair in my mind; but objections still started too obstinate to be conquered.

In the height of my soliloquy in comes Youwarkee, and seeing my dejected look, would needs know the meaning of it I told her plainly that I could get no rest from day to day ever since she first went to the ship, to think such a number of good things lay there to be a prey to the sea, as the ship wasted, when they might be of such infinite service here; and that, since her last flight, I had suffered the more, when I thought how near the gulf was to the ship; so that could I but get thither myself with my boat, I would contrive to pack up the goods in the chests that were on board, and carrying them in the boat, drop them near the draught of the water, which of itself would suck them under the rock down the gulf; and when they were passed through the cavern, I might take them up in the lake. “Well,” says she, “Peter, and why cannot I do this for you?”—“No,” says I, “even this has its objections.” Then I told her what I feared of their taking water, or dashing against the rock, and twenty other ways of frustrating my views: “But, above all,” says I, “how can you get such large and weighty things to the gulf without a boat? There is another impossibility! it won't do.”

Youwarkee eyed me attentively. “Pr'ythee, my dear Peter,” says she, “set your heart at rest about that. I can only try; if no good is to be done, you shall soon know it, and must rest contented under the disappointment.”—I told her if I was there, I could take all the things out of the chests, and then melt some pitch and pour into every crack, to keep out the water when they were set afloat. “Pitch!” says she, “what's that?”—“Why,” says I, “that is a nasty, hard, black sticking thing that stands in tubs in the ship, and which being put over the fire in anything to melt will grow liquid, and when it is cold be hard again, and will resist the water and keep it out.”—Says she, “How can I put this pitch within-side of the chest-lid when I have tied it up?”—“It is to no manner of purpose,” says I, “to talk of it; so there's an end of it.”—“But,” says she, “suppose yourself there, what things would you bring first?”—I then entered into a long detail of particulars; saying I would have this and that, and so on, till I had scarce left out a thing I either knew of or could suppose to be in the ship; and for fear I had not mentioned all, says I at last, if I was there, I believe I should leave but little portable behind me.

“So, so, my dear,” says Youwarkee, “you would roll in riches, I find; but you have mentioned never a new gown for me.”—“Why, aye!” says I, “I would have that too.”—“But how would you melt the pitch?” says she.—“Oh,” says I, “there is a tinder-box and matches in a room below, upon the side of the fire-hearth.” And then I let her see one I had brought with me, and showed her the use of the flint and steel.—“Well, my dear,” says she, “will you once more trust me?”—I told her, her going would be of little more use than to get a second gown or some such thing; but if she was desirous, I would let her make another flight, on her promise to be back as soon as possible.

In the evening she set out, and stayed two days, and till the night of the third. I would here observe that though it was much lighter and brighter on the outside of the rock where the ship lay than with us at Graundevolet, yet having always her spectacles with her, I heard no more complaint of the glare of light she used to be so much afraid of: indeed, she always avoided the fire and lamp at home as much as she could, because she generally took off her spectacles within doors; but when at any time she had them on, she could bear both well enough.

Upon her return again, she told me she had shipped some goods to sea for me, which she hoped would arrive safe (for by this time she had had my seafaring terms so often over, she could apply them very properly), and that they were in six chests, which she had pitched after my directions.—“Aye!” says I, “you have pitched them into the sea perhaps; but after my directions, I am satisfied was beyond your ability.”—“You glumms,” says she, “think us gawrys very ignorant; but I'll satisfy you we are not so dull of apprehension as you would make us. Did you not show me one day how your boat was tarred and caulked, as you call it?”—“I did,” says I; “what then?”—“I'll tell you,” says she. “When I had emptied the first chest, and set it properly, I looked about for your pitch, which at last I found by its sticking to my fingers; I then put a good piece into a sort of little kettle, with a long handle, that lay upon the pitch.”—“Oh, the pitch-ladle!” says I.—“I know not what you call it,” says she; “but then I made a fire, as you told me, and melted that stuff; afterwards turning up the chest side-ways, and then end-ways, I poured it into it, and let it settle in the cracks, and with an old stocking, such as yours, dipped into the pitch, I rubbed every place where the boards joined. I then set the chest on the side of the ship, and when the pitch was cold and hardened in it, filled it top-full of things: but when I had done thus, and shut the lid, I found that would not come so close but I could get the blade of a knife through anywhere between it and the chest; whereupon I cut some long slips of the cloth I was packing up, and fitting them all round the edge of the chest, I dipped them into the pitch, and laid them on hot; and where one slip would not do, I put two; and shutting the lid down close upon them, I nailed it, as I had seen you do some things, quite round; then tying a rope to the handle, I tipped the chest into the sea, holding the rope. I watched it some time, and seeing it swim well, I took flight with the rope in my hand, and drew the chest after me to the gulf, when, letting go the rope, away it went. I served five more in the same manner: and now, my dearest, I am here to tell you I hope you will be able to see at least some of them, one time or other, in the lake.”

I admired in all this at the sagacity of the gawrys. Alas! thinks I, what narrow-hearted creatures are mankind! Did I not heretofore look upon the poor blacks in Africa as little better than beasts, till my friend Glanlepze convinced me, by disabling the crocodile, the passage of the river, and several other achievements, that my own excellences might have perished in a desert without his genius; and now what could I, or almost any of us masterpieces of the creation (as we think ourselves) and Heaven's peculiar favourites, have done in this present case, that has been omitted by this woman (for I may justly style her so in an eminent degree), and that in a way to which she was bred an utter stranger?

After what I had heard from Youwarkee, I grew much more cheerful; which she, poor creature, was remarkably pleased with. She went with me constantly once, and sometimes twice a day, for several days together, to see what success at the lake; till at length she grew very impatient, for fear, as she afterwards told me, I should either think she had not done what she said, or had done it in an ineffectual manner. But one day, walking by the lake, I thought I saw something floating in the water at a very great distance. “Youwarkee,” says I, “I spy a sail!” Then running to my boat* and taking her in, away we went, plying my oars with all my might; for I longed to see what it was. At nearer view I perceived it to be one of my wife's fleet. But what added to my satisfaction was to see Youwarkee so pleased, for she could scarcely contain herself.

When we came close to it, up she started: “Now, my dear Peter,” says she, “torment yourself no more about your goods on board; for if this will do, all shall be your own.”—She then lent me a hand to take it in; but we had both work enough to compass it, the wood had soaked in so much water. We then made the best of our way homewards to my wet-dock; when, just as we had landed our treasure, we saw two more boxes coming down the stream both together, whereupon we launched again, and brought them in one by one; for I did not care to trust them both on one bottom, my boat being in years, and growing somewhat crazy.

We had now made a good day's work of it; so, mooring the boat, we went home, intending to be out next morning early with the cart, to convey our imports to the grotto.

After supper, Youwarkee looking very earnestly at me, with tears just glittering in her eyes, broke out in these words—“What should you have thought, Peter, to have seen me come sailing, drowned, through the cavern, tied to one of your chests?”—“Heaven forbid such a thought, my charmer!” says I. “But as you know I must have been rendered the most miserable of all living creatures by such a sight, or anything else that would deprive me of you, pray tell me how you could possibly have such a thought in your head?”—She saw she had raised my concern, and was very sorry for what she had said. “Nothing, nothing,” says she, “my dear! it was only a fancy just come into my head.”—“My dear Youwee,” says I, “you must let me know what you mean: I am in great pain till you explain yourself; for I am sure there is something more in what you say than fancy; therefore, pray, if you love me, keep me on the rack no longer.”—“Ah, Peter!” says she, “there was but a span between me and death not many days ago; and when I saw the line of the last chest we took up just now, it gave so much horror I could scarce keep upon my feet.”—“My dear Youwee, proceed,” says I; “for I cannot bear my torment till I have heard the worst.”—“Why, Peter,” says she, “now the danger is over, I shall tell you my escape with as much pleasure as I guess you will take in hearing of it. You must know, my life,” says she, “that having cast that chest into the sea, as I was tugging it along by that very line, it being one of the heaviest, and moving but slowly, I twisted the string several times round my hand, one fold upon another, the easier to tow it; when, drawing it rather too quick into the eddy, it pulled so hard against me, towards the gulf, and so quick, that I could in no way loosen or disengage the cord from my fingers, but was dragged thereby to the very rock, against which the chest struck violently. My last thought, as I supposed it, was of you, my dear” (on which she clasped me round the neck, in sense of her past agony); “when taking myself for lost, I forbore further resistance; at which instant the line, slackening by the rebound of the chest, fell from my hand of itself, and the chest returning to the rock, went down the current. I took a turn or two round on my graundee to recollect my past danger, and went back to the ship, fully resolved to avoid the like snare for the future. Indeed I did not easily recover my spirits, and was so terrified with the thought, that I had half a mind to have left the two remaining chests behind me; but as danger overcome gives fresh resolution, I again set to work, and discharged them also down the gulf, as I hope you will see in good time.”

My heart bled within me all the while she spoke, and I even felt ten times more than she could have suffered by the gulf. “My dearest Youwee,” says I, “why did you not tell me this adventure sooner?” “It is too soon, I fear, now!” says she; for she then saw the colour forsake my lips, my eyes grow languid, and myself dropping into her arms. She screamed out, and ran to the chest, where all was empty; but turning every bottle up, and from the remaining drops in each collecting a small quantity of liquor, and putting it by little and little to my lips, and rubbing my wrists and temples, she brought me to myself again; but I continued so extremely sick for some days after, that it was above a week before I could get down with my cart to fetch up my chests.

When I was able to go down, Youwarkee would not venture me alone, but went herself with me. We then found two more of the chests, which we landed; and I had work sufficient for two or three days in getting them all up to the grotto, they were so heavy, and all the way through the wood being up hill.

We had five in hand, and watched several days for the sixth, when seeing nothing of it we gave it over for lost; but one day, as I was going for water, Youwarkee would go with me, and urged our carrying the net, that we might drag for some fish. Accordingly we did so; and now having taken what we wanted, we went to the rill, and pushing in the head of the boat (as I usually did, for by that means I could fill the vessel as I stood on board), the first thing that appeared was my sixth chest. Youwarkee spied it first, and cried, pointing thereto, “O Peter, what we have long wished for, and almost despaired of, is come at last! let us meet and welcome it.” I was pleased with the gaiety of her fancy. I did as she desired; we got it into the boat, after merrily saluting it, and so returned home. It took us up several days time in searching, sorting, and disposing our cargo, and drying the chests; for the goods themselves were so far from being wetted or spoiled, that even those in the last chest, which had lain so long in the water, had not taken the least moisture.

Youwarkee was quite alert at the success of her packing, but left me to ring her praises, which I did not fail of doing more than once at unpacking each chest, and could see her eyes glow with delight to see she had so pleased me.

She had been so curious as to examine almost everything in the ship; and as well of things I had described, and she did know, as of what she did not, brought me something for a sample; but, above all, had not forgot the blue stuff, for the moment she had seen that she destined it to the use of herself and children.

CHAPTER XXIII.

     The religion of the author's family.

Youwarkee and I having fixed ourselves, by degrees, into a settled rota of action, began to live like Christians, having so great a quantity of most sorts of necessaries about us. But I say we lived like Christians on another account, for you must not think, after what I have said before, that I and my family lived like heathens; no, I will assure you, they by degrees knew all I knew, and that, with a little artificial improvement, and a well-regulated disposition, I hoped, and did not doubt, would carry them all to heaven. I would many a time have given all my interest in the ship's cargo for a Bible; and a hundred times grieved that I was not master of a pocket one, which I might have carried everywhere about me. I never imagined there was one aboard, and if there were, and You-warkee should find it, I supposed it would be in Portuguese, which I knew little of, so it would be of small service to me if I had it.

Since I am on the topic of religion, it may not be amiss, once for all, to give you a small sketch of my religious proceedings after coming into my new dominions. I have already told you that from my first stop at the rock I had prayed constantly morning and evening, but I cannot say I did it always with the same efficacy. However, my imperfect devotions were not without good effect; and I am confident, wherever this course is pursued with a right view, sooner or later the issue will prove the same to others as I found it to myself; I mean, that mercies will be remembered with more gratitude, and evils be more disregarded, and become less burdensome; and surely the person whose case this is, must necessarily enjoy the truest relish of life. As daily prayer was my practice, in answer to it I obtained the greatest blessing and comfort my solitude was capable of receiving; I mean my wife, whose character I need not farther attempt to blazon in any faint colours of my own after what has been already said, her acts having spoken her virtues beyond all verbal description.

After we were married, as I call it—that is, after we had agreed to become man and wife—I frequently prayed before her, and with her (for by this time she understood a good deal of my language); at which, though contrary to my expectation, she did not seem surprised, but readily kneeled by and joined with me. This I liked very well; and upon my asking her one day after prayer if she understood what I had been doing (for I had a notion she did not)—“Yes, verily,” says she, “you have been making petitions to the image of the great Collwar.”*—“Pray,” says I (willing gently to lead her into a just sense of a Supreme Being), “who is this Collwar? and where does He dwell?”—“He it is,” says she, “that does all good and evil to us.”—“Right,” says I, “it is in some measure so; but He cannot of Himself do evil, absolutely and properly, as His own act”—“Yes,” says she, “He can; for He can do all that can be done; and as evil can be done, He can do it.”—So quick a reply startled me. Thinks I, she will run me aground presently; and from being a doctor, as I fancied myself, I shall become but a pupil to my own scholar. I then asked her where the great Collwar dwelt? She told me in heaven, in a charming place.—“And can He know what we do?” says I.—“Yes,” replied she, “His image tells Him everything; and I have prayed to His image, which I have often seen, and it is filled with so much virtue that it is His second self; for there is only one of them in the world who is so good: He gives several virtues to other images of Himself, which are brought to Him, and put into His arms to breathe upon; and the only thing I have ever regretted since I knew you is, that I have not one of them here to comfort and bless us and our children.”

     * God.

Though I was sorry for the oddity of her conceptions, I was almost glad to find her so ignorant, and pleased myself with thinking that as she had already a confused notion of a Supreme Power, I should soon have the satisfaction of bringing her to a more rational knowledge of Him.

“Pray, Youwee,” says I, “what is your God made of?”—“Why of clay,” says she, “finely painted, and looks so terrible he would make you tremble to behold him.”—“Do you think,” says I, “that is the true Collwar's real shape, if you could see Himself?” She told me yes, for that some of His best servants had seen him, and took the representation from Himself. “And pray, do you think He loves His best servants, as you call them, and is kind to them?”—“You need not doubt it,” says she.—“Why, then,” replied I, “how came He to look so terrible upon them when they saw Him, as you say they did? for I can see no reason, how terrible soever He looks to others, why He should show Himself so to those He loves. I should rather think, as you say He is kind to them, that He should have two images, a placid one for His good, and a terrible one for His bad servants; or else, who by seeing Him can tell whether He is pleased or angry? for even you yourself, Youwee, when anything pleases you, have a different look from that you have when you are angry, and little Pedro can tell whether he does well or ill by your countenance; whereas, if you made no distinction, but looked with the same face on all his actions, he would as readily think he did well as ill in committing a bad action.” Youwarkee could not tell what to say to this, the fact seeming against her.

I then asked her if she thought the image itself could hear her petitions. She replied, “Yes.”—“And can he,” says I, “return you an answer?”—She told me he only did that to his best servants.—“Did you ever hear him do it?” says I. “For unless he can speak too, I should much suspect his hearing; and you being one of his best servants, seeing you love him, and pray heartily to him, why should you not hear him as soon as others?”—“No,” says she, “there are a great number of glumms on purpose to serve him, pray for us to him, and receive his answers.”—“But to what purpose then,” says I, “is your praying to him, if their prayers will serve your turn?”—“Oh,” says she, “the image hears them sooner than us, and sends the petitions up to the great Collwar, and lets Him know who makes them, and desires Him to let them have what they want.”—“But suppose,” says I, for argument sake, “that you could see the great Collwar, or know where He was, and should pray to Himself, without going about to His image first, do you think He could not hear you?”—“I cannot tell that,” says she.—“But how then,” says I, “can He tell what (if it could speak) His image says, which is as far from Him and then her own zealous application, with God's grace, soon brought her to a firm belief in it, and a suitable temper and conduct with respect to God and man.”

After I had begun with my children, I frequently referred their further instruction to their mother; for I have always experienced that a superficial knowledge, with a desire of becoming a teacher, is in some measure equivalent to better knowledge; for it not only excites every principle one has to the utmost, but makes matters more clear and conspicuous even to one's self.

By these means, and the Divine blessing thereon, in a few years, I may fairly say, I had a little Christian church in my own house, and in a flourishing way too, without a schismatic or heretic amongst us.

CHAPTER XXIV.

     The author's account of his children—Their names—They are
     exercised in flying—His boat crazy—Youwarkee intends a
     visit to her father', but first takes another flight to the
     ship—Sends a boat and chests through the gulf—Clothes her
     children—Is with child again, so her visit is put off—An
     inventory of the last freight of goods—The author's method
     of treating his children—Youwarkee, her son Tommy, with her
     daughters Patty and Hally-carnie, set out to her father's.

I had now lived here almost fourteen years, and besides the three sons before mentioned, had three girls and one boy. Pedro, my eldest, had the graundee, but too small to be useful; my second son Tommy had it complete, so had my three daughters, but Jemmy and David, the youngest sons, none at all. My eldest daughter I named Patty, because I always called my first wife so. I say my first wife, though I had no other knowledge of her death than my dream; but am from that as verily persuaded, if ever I reach England, I shall find it so, as if I had heard it from her aunt's own mouth. My second daughter my wife desired might be called by her sister's name Hallycarnie, and my youngest I named Sarah, after my mother. I put you to the trouble of writing down the names, for as I shall hereafter have frequent occasion to mention the children severally, it will be pleasanter for myself and you to call them by their several names of distinction, than to call them my second son, or my eldest daughter, and so forth.

My wife now took great delight in exercising Tommy and Patty (who were big enough to be trusted) in flighty and would often skim round the whole island with them before I could walk half through the wood. And she would teach them also to swim or sail, I know not which to call it, for sometimes you should see them dart out of the air as if they would fall on their faces into the lake, when coming near the surface they would stretch their legs in a horizontal posture, and in an instant turn on their backs, and then you could see nothing from the bank, to all appearance, but a boat sailing along, the graundee rising at their head, feet, and sides, so like the sides and ends of a boat that you could not discern the face or any part of the body. I own I often envied them this exercise, which they seemed to perform with more ease than I could only shake my leg or stir an arm.

Though we had perpetually swangeans about us, and the voices, as I used to call them, I could never once prevail on my wife to show herself, or to claim any acquaintance with her country folks. And what is very remarkable in my children is, that my three daughters and Tommy, who had the full graundee, had exactly their mother's sight, Jemmy and David had just my sight, and Pedro's sight was between both, though he was never much affected with any light; but I was obliged to make spectacles for Tommy and all my daughters when they came to go abroad.

I had in this time twice enlarged my dwelling, which the increase of my family had rendered necessary. The last alteration I was enabled to do in a much better manner, and with more ease, than the first, for by the return of my flota I had gotten a large collection of useful tools, several of iron, where the handles or wood-work preponderated the iron; but such as was all, or greatest part of that metal, had got either to the rock, or were so fast fixed to the head of the ship, that it was difficult to remove them, so that my wife could get comparatively few of this latter sort, though some she did. It was well, truly, I had these instruments, which greatly facilitated my labours, for I was forced to work harder now than ever in making provision for us all; and my sons Pedro and Tommy commonly assisted. I had also had another importation of goods through the gulf, which still added to my convenience. But my boat made me shudder every time I went into her; she had leaked again and again, and I had patched her till I could scarce see a bit of the old wood. She was of unspeakable use to me, and yet I could not venture myself in her, but with the utmost apprehension and trembling. I had been intending a good while, now I had such helps, to build a new one, but had been diverted by one avocation or other.

About this time Youwarkee, who was now upwards of thirty-two years of age, the fondest mother living, and very proud of her children, had formed a project of taking a flight to Arndrumnstake, a town in the kingdom of Doorpt Swangeanti, as I called it, where her father, if living, was a colamb * under Georigetti, the prince of that country. She imparted her desire to me, asking my leave; and she told me, if I pleased, she would take Patty and Tommy along with her. I did not much dislike the proposal, because of the great inclination I had for a long time to a knowledge of, and familiarity with, her countrymen and relations; and now I had so many of her children with me, I could not think she would ever be prevailed on, but by force, to quit me and her offspring, and be contented to lose six for the sake of having two with her, especially as she had showed no more love for them than the rest, so I made no hesitation, but told her she should go.

     * Governor.

I expected continually I should hear of her departure, but she saying no more of it, I thought she had dropped her design, and I did not choose to mention it. But one day, as we were at dinner, looking mighty seriously, she said, “My dear, I have considered of the journey you have consented I should take, but in order thereto it is necessary that I prepare several things for the children, especially those who have no graundee, and I am resolved to finish them before I go, that we may appear with decency, both here and at Arndrumn-stake; for I am sure my father, whose temper I am perfectly acquainted with, will, upon sight of me and my little ones, be so overjoyed, that he will forgive my absence and marriage, provided he sees reason to believe I have not matched unworthily, unbecoming my birth; and after keeping me and the children with him, it may be two or three months, will accompany me home again himself with a great retinue of servants and relations; or, at least, if he is either dead or unable for flight, my other relations will come or send a convoy to take care of me and the children; and, my dear, as I shall give them all the encomiums I can of you, and of my situation with you, while I am among them, I would have them a little taken with the elegance of our domestic condition when they come hither, that they may think me happy in you and my children; for I would not only put my family into a condition to appear before them, but to surprise the old gentleman and his company, who never in their lives saw any part of mankind with another covering than the graundee.” When she had done, I expressed my approbation of her whole system, as altogether prudent, and she proceeded immediately to put it in execution. To work she went, opened every chest, and examined their contents. But while she was upon the hunt, and selecting such things as she thought fit for her purpose, she recollected several articles she had observed in the ship, which she judged far more for her turn than any she had at home. Hereupon she prayed me to let her take another trip to the vessel, and to carry Tommy with her.

After so many trials, and such happy experience of her wise and fortunate conduct, I consented to her flight, and away went she and her son. Upon their return, which was in a few days, she told me what they had been doing, and said, as she so often heard me complain of the age of my boat, and fear to sail in her, she had fitted me out a little ship, and hoped it would in due time arrive safely. As she passed quickly on to other things, I never once thought of asking her what she meant by the little ship she spoke of; but must own that, like a foolishly fond parent, I was more intent on her telling me how Tommy had found a hoard of playthings, which he had packed up for his own use.

As to this last particular, I learned by the sequel of the story, when the spark, proud of his acquisition, came to me, that he had been peeping about in the cabin whilst his mother was packing the chests, and seeing a small brass knob in the wainscot, took it for a plaything, and pulling to get it out, opened a little door of a cupboard, where he had found some very pretty toys that he positively claimed for himself, among which were a small plain gold ring, and a very fine one set with diamonds, which he showed me upon two of his fingers. I wondered how the child, who had never before seen such things, or the use of them, should happen to apply these so properly; but he told me in playing with this, meaning the diamond ring, about his fingers, it slipped over his middle-finger joint, and he could not get it off again, so he put the other upon another finger to keep it company.

We watched daily, as usual on such occasions, for the arrival of our fleet. It was surprising that none of the chests which Youwarkee shot down the gulf were ever half so long in their passage as I was myself, but some came in a week, some in a few days more, and even some in less, which I attributed to their following directly the course of the water, shooting from shelf to shelf as the tide sat; and I believe my keeping the boat I sailed in so strictly and constantly in the middle of the stream, was the reason of my being detained there so long. In less than a fortnight everything came safe but one chest, which, as we never heard of it, I suppose was either sunk or bulged.

Being one day upon shore, watching to see if anything more was come through the cavern, I spied at a distance somewhat looking very black and very long, and by the colour and shape thereof I took it for a young whale. Having observed it some time making very little way, I took my old boat and followed it, but was afraid to go near it, lest a stroke with its tail—which I then fancied I saw move—might endanger my boat and myself too; but creeping nearer and nearer, and seeing it did not stir, I believed it to be dead; whereupon, taking courage, I drew so close that at length I plainly perceived it was the ship's second boat turned upside down. It is not easy to express the joy I felt on this discovery. It was the very thing I was now, as I have said, in the greatest want of. I presently laid hold of it and brought it ashore; and it was no small pleasure to find, on examining, that though it had lain so long dry, it was yet quite sound, and all its chinks filled up in its passage; and it proved to me afterwards the most beneficial thing I could have had from the ship.

I got all my goods home from the lake to my grotto, by means of the cart, as usual. My wife and daughters waited with impatience for me to unpack, that they might take possession of such things as would be needful for rigging out the family against the supposed reception of the old glumm, and had set all the chests in the order they desired they might be opened in. But Tommy running to me, with a “Pray, daddy, open my chest first! pray, give me my playthings first!” it was, to satisfy him, concluded in favour of his demand. So, he pointing to the chest which he regarded as his property, I opened it, whilst his eyes were ready to pierce through it, till I came to his treasure. “There, there they are, daddy!” says he, as soon as I had uncovered them. And indeed, when I saw them, I could not but much commend the child for his fancy; for the first things that appeared were a silver punch or wine can and a ladle, then a gold watch, a pair of scissors, a small silver chafing-dish and lamp, a large case of mathematical instruments, a flageolet, a terrella or globular loadstone, a small globe, a dozen of large silver spoons, and a small case of knives and forks and spoons; in short, there was, I believe, the greatest part of the Portuguese captain's valuable effects.

These Tommy claiming as his own proper chattels, I could not help interposing somewhat of my authority in the affair. “Hold, hold, son!” says I, “these things are all mine; but as I have several of you who will all be equally pleased with them, though, as the first finder, you may be entitled to the best share, you are not to grasp the whole, you must all have something like an equality; and as to some things which may be equally useful to us all, they must be set up to be used upon occasion, and are to be considered as mine and your mother's property.” I thereupon gave each of them a large silver spoon, and with a fork I scratched the initials of their names respectively on them, and divided several of the trifles amongst them equally. “And now, Tommy,” says I, “you for your pains shall have this more than the rest,” offering him the flageolet. Tommy looked very gloomy, and though he durst not find fault, his dissatisfaction was very visible by coolly taking it, tossing it down, and walking gravely off. “I thought,” says I, “Tommy, I had made a good choice for you; but, as I find you despise it, here, Pedro, do you take that pretty thing, since your brother slights it” Tommy replied, speaking but half out, and a little surly, more than I ever observed before, “Let him take it if he will, I can get bits of sticks enough in the wood.”

My method had always been to avoid either beating or scolding at my children, for preferring their own opinion to mine; but I ever let things turn about so, that from their own reason they should perceive they had erred in opposing my sentiments, by which means they grew so habituated to submit to my advice and direction, that for the most part my will was no sooner known to them than it became their own choice; but then I never willed according to fancy only, but with judgment, to the best of my skill.

Tommy, therefore, as I said before, having shown a disapprobation of my doings; to convince him of his mistake, I took the flageolet from Pedro. “And now, Pedro,” says I, “let me teach you how to manage this piece of wood, as Tommy calls it, and then let me see if in all the grove he can cut such another.” On this I clapped it to my mouth, and immediately played several country-dances and hornpipes on it; for though my mother had scarce taught me to read, I had learnt music and dancing, being, as she called them, gentlemanlike accomplishments. My wife and children, especially Tommy, all stared as if they were wild, first on me, then on one another, whilst I played a country-dance; but I had no sooner struck up an hornpipe, than their feet, arms, and heads had so many twitching and convulsive motions, that not one quiet limb was to be seen amongst them; till having exercised their members as long as I saw fit, I almost laid them all to sleep with Chevy Chase, and so gave over.

They no sooner found themselves free from this enchantment, than the children all hustled round me in a cluster, all speaking together, and reaching out their little hands to the instrument I gave it Pedro. “There,” says I to him, “take this slighted favour as no such contemptible present.”

Poor Tommy, who had all this while looked very simple, burst into a flood of tears at my last words, as if his heart would have broke; and running to me, fell on his knees, and begged my pardon, hoping I would forgive him. I took him up, and kissing him, told him he had very little offended me; for, as he knew, I had more children to give anything to which either of the rest despised; it was equal to me who had it, so it was thankfully received. I found that did not satisfy; still in tears, he said, “Might he not have the stick again, as I gave it to him first?” “Tommy,” says I, “you know I gave it to you first; but you disapproving my kindness, I have now given it Pedro, who, should I against his will take it from him, would have that reason to complain which you have not, who parted with it by your own consent; and therefore, Tommy, as I am determined to acquaint you as near as I can with the strict rules of justice, there must no more be said to me of this matter.” Such as this was my constant practice amongst them; and they having always found me inflexible from this rule, we seldom had any long debates.

Though I say the affair ended so with regard to what I had to do in it, yet it ended not so with Tommy; for though he knew he had no hopes of moving me, he set all his engines at work to recover his stick, as he called it, by his mother's and sisters' interest. These solicited Pedro very strongly to gratify him. At length Pedro—he being a boy of a most humane disposition—granted their desire, if I would give leave; and I having signified, that the cause being now out of my hands, he might do as he pleased, he generously yielded it. And indeed he could not have bestowed it more properly; for Tommy had the best ear for music I ever knew; and in less than a twelvemonth could far outdo me, his instructor, in softness and easiness of finger; and was also master of every tune I knew, which were neither inconsiderable in number, nor of the lowest rate.

Youwarkee, with her daughters, sat close to work, and had but just completed her whole design for the family clothing, when she told me she found herself with child again. As that circumstance ill suited a journey, she deferred her flight for about fifteen months; in which time she was brought to bed, and weaned the infant, which was a boy, whom I named Richard, after my good master at the academy. The little knave thrived amain, and was left to my farther nursing during its mammy's absence; who, still firm to her resolution, after she had equipped herself and companions with whatever was necessary to their travelling, and locked up all the apparel she had made till her return, because she would have it appear new when her father came, set out with her son Tommy and my two daughters Patty and Hallycarnie, the last of which by this time being big enough also to be trusted with her mother.

CHAPTER XXV.

     Youwarkee's account of the stages to Arndrumstake—The
     author uneasy at her flight—His employment in her absence;
     and preparations for receiving her father—How he spent the
     evenings with the children.

My wife was now upon her journey to her father's; but where that was, or how far off, it was impossible for me to conceive by her description of the way; for she distinguished it not by miles or leagues, but by swan-geans, and names of rocks, seas, and mountains, which I could neither comprehend the distance of from each other, nor from Graundevolet, where I was. I understood by her, indeed, there was a great sea to be passed, which would take her up almost a day and night, having the children with her, before she reached the next arkoe, though she could do it herself she said, and strain hard, in a summer's night; but if the children should flag by the way, as there was no resting-place between us and Battringdrigg, the next arkoe, it might be dangerous to them, so she would take the above time for their sakes. After this, I found by what she said there was a narrow sea to pass, and a prodigious mountain, before she reached her own country; and that her father's was but a little beyond that mountain. This was all I could know in general about it. At their departure she and the children had taken each a small provision for their flight, which hung about their necks in a sort of purse.

I cannot say, notwithstanding this journey was taken with my concurrence and consent, that I was perfectly easy when they were gone, for my affection for them all would work up imaginary fears too potent for my reason to dispel, and which at first sat with no easy pressure upon my mind. This my pretty babies at home perceiving, used all the little winning arts they could to divert and keep up my spirits; and from day to day, by taking them abroad with me, and playing with and amusing them at home, I grew more and more persuaded that all would go right with the absent, and that in due time I should see them return again.

But as the winter set in, I went little abroad, and then we employed ourselves within doors in preparing several things which might not only be useful and ornamental, if the old glumm should come to see us, but might also divert us, and make the time pass less tediously. The first thing I went upon was a table, which, as my family consisted of so many, I intended to make big enough for us all. With that view I broke up a couple of chests, and, taking the two sides of one of them, I nailed them edge to edge by strong thick pieces underneath at each end and in the middle; then I took two chest-lids with their hinges, nailing one to each side of my middle piece, which made two good flaps; after this, with my tools, of which I had now a chest-full, I chopped out of new stuff and planed four strong legs quite square, and nailed them strongly to each corner of my middle board; I then nailed pieces from one leg to the other, and nailed the bed likewise to them; then I fastened a border quite round within six inches from the bottom, from foot to foot, which held all fast together. When all this was done, still my table was imperfect; I could not put up the flaps, having no proper support. To remedy this I sawed out a broad slip from a chest-side, and boring a large hole through the centre, I spiked it up to the under-side of the table's bed, with a spindle I contrived just loose enough to play round the head of the spike, filing down that part of the spindle which passed through the bed of the table, and riveting it close; so that when my flaps were set up I pulled the slip crosswise of the table, and when the flaps were down, the slip turned under the top of the table lengthwise: next, under each flap, I nailed a small slip lengthwise of the flaps, to raise them on a level, when up, with the top of the table. When I had thus completed the several parts of this needful utensil, I spent some time and pains by scraping and rubbing, to render it all as elegant as could be, and the success so well answered my wish, that I was not a little proud of the performance; and what rendered my work thereon a still more agreeable task, was my pretty infants' company, who stood by, expressing their wonder and approbation at every stroke.

Now I had gotten a table, I wanted chairs to it; for as yet we had only sat round the room upon chests, which formed a bench of the whole circumference, they stood so thick. There was no moving of them without a monstrous trouble every time I might have occasion to set out my table: besides, if I could have dragged them backwards and forwards, they were too low to be commodious for seats; so I resolved to make some chairs and stools also, that might be manageable. I will not trouble you with the steps I took in the formation of these; only, in general, you must know, that some more chests I broke up to that purpose served me for timber, out of which I framed six sizeable handsome chairs, and a competent number of stools.

But now that I was turned joiner, I had another convenience to provide for. I had nothing wherein to enclose things, and preserve them from dust, except the chests, and they were quite unfit for holding liquors, victuals, and such like matters, but open shells, as most of my vessels were. Wherefore, having several boards now remaining of the boxes I had broken up for chairs and stools, I bethought me of supplying this great deficiency; so of these spare boards, in a workmanlike way (for by this time I was become a tolerable mechanic), I composed a very tight closet, holding half-a-dozen broad shelves, shut up by a good pair of doors, with a lock and key to fasten them. These jobs took me up almost three months, and I thought I had not employed them idly, but for the credit and service of my family. I was now again at leisure for farther projects. I was uncertain as to my wife's return, how soon she might be with me, or how much longer she might stay; but I was sure I could do nothing in the meanwhile more grateful than increasing, by all means in my power, the accommodations of my house, for the more polite as well as convenient reception of her father, or any else who might accompany her home in the way of a retinue, as she talked of. I saw plainly I had not room for lodging them, and that was a circumstance of main importance to be provided for. Hereupon I thought of adding a long apartment to one of my outer-rooms, to range against the side of the rock; but reflecting that such a thing would be quite useless, unless I could finish it in time, so as to be complete when my guests came, and not knowing how soon that might be, I resolved to quit this design; and I fell upon another which might do as well, and required much less labour and fewer days to perfect.

I remembered that amongst those things my wife had packed up on board the ship, and which came home through the gulf, there were two of the largest sails, and a couple of a smaller size. These I carried to the wood, and tried them in several places to see where they might be disposed to most advantage in the nature of a tent, and having found a convenient spot to my purpose, I cut divers poles for supporters, and making straining lines of my matweed, I pitched a noble one, sufficient to cover or entertain a numerous company, and so tight everywhere as to keep out the weather. The front of this new apartment I hung with blue cloth, which had a very genteel effect. I had almost forgotten to tell you that I contrived (by hanging one of the smaller sails across, just in the middle, which I could let down or raise up at pleasure) to divide the tent occasionally into two distinct rooms.

When I had proceeded thus far, there were still wanting seats for this additional building, as I may call it, and though I could spare some chests to sit on, I found they would not half do. For a supplement, then, I took my axe and felled a couple of great trees, one from each side of the tent, sawed off the tops, and cut each of the trunks in two about the middle: these huge cylinders I rolled into the tent with a good deal of toil and difficulty; two of them I thrust into the inner division, and left two in the outer. I placed them as benches on both sides, then, with infinite pains, I shaved the upper face of each smooth and flat, and pared off all the little knots and roughnesses of the front, so that they were fitted to sit on, and their own weight fixed them in the place where I intended them to be. At the upper end of the farther chamber I set three chests lengthwise for seats, or any other use I might see fit to put them to.

During these operations we were all hard at it, and no hand idle but Dicky in arms, and Sally, whom he kept in full employ; but Pedro, being a sturdy lad, could drive a nail, and lift or carry the things I wanted, and Jemmy and David, though so young, could pick up the chips, hold a nail or the lamp, or be some way or other useful; for I always preached to them the necessity of earning their bread before they ate it, and not think to live on mine and their brother's labour.

The nights being pretty long, after work was over, and Sarah had fed her brother and laid him in his hammock, we used to sit all down to enjoy ourselves at a good meal, for we were never regular at that till night; and then after supper, my wife being absent, one or other of the young ones would begin with something they had before heard me speak of, by saying, “Daddy, how did you use to do this or that in England?” Then all ears were immediately open to catch my answer, which certainly brought on something else done either there or elsewhere; and by their little questions and my answers they would sometimes draw me into a story of three hours long, till, perhaps, two or three of my audience were falling asleep, and then we all went to bed.

I verily believe my children would, almost any of them, from the frequent repetition of these stories, have given a sufficient account of England to have gained a belief from almost any Englishman of their being natives there.

I frequently observed, that when we had begun upon Cornwall, and traversed the mines, the sea-coast, or talked of the fine gentlemen's seats, and such things, one would start up, and, if the discourse flagged ever so little, would cry, “Ay; but, daddy, what did you do when the crocodile came after you out of the water?” And another, before that subject was half-ended (and I was forced to enter on every one they started), would be impatient for the story of the lion; and I always took notice that the part each had made the most reflections on, was always most acceptable to the same person: but poor Sally would never let the conversation drop without some account of the muletto, it was such a pretty, gentle creature, she said.

CHAPTER XXVI.

     The Author's concern at Youwarkees stay—Reflections on his
     condition—Hears a voice call him—Youwarhee's brother
     Quangrollart visits him with a companion—He treats them at
     the grotto—The brother discovers himself by accident—
     Wilkins produces his children to him

My head, as well as my hands, had now been employed for five months in adjusting all things in the most suitable manner for the reception of Youwarkee and her friends; but nobody coming, and light days getting forward apace, I begin to grow very uneasy, and had formed divers imaginations of what might occasion her stay. Thought I, I am afraid all the pains I have been taking will be to no purpose; for either her father will not let her return, or she has of herself come to such a resolution; for she knows I cannot follow her, and had rather, perhaps, live and enjoy the three children she has with her, amidst a number of her friends and acquaintance, than spend the remainder of her days with me and all our offspring in this solitude.

But then I reflected she chose it herself, or at least declared herself perfectly satisfied, yea, delighted therewith. And here are her children with me, the major part of them; yet, what can I think? since her return is put off till the swangeans are over this arkoe, she will never bring her relations now in this unseasonable time for flight; therefore I must think, if she intended to return at all, it would have been before now; and as the case is not so, my fear of losing her entirely prevails greatly. Oh! says I, that we had but a post here as we have in England; there we can communicate our thoughts at a distance to each other without any trouble, and for little charge! What a country is this to live in! and what an improper creature am I to live in it! Had I but the graundee, I would have found her out by this time, be she where she would; but, whilst every one about me can pass, repass, and act as they please, I am fixed here like one of my trees, bound to the spot, or, upon removal, to die in the attempt. Alas! why did I beget children here, but to make them as wretched and inconsolable as myself! Some of them are so formed, indeed, as to shift for themselves; but they owe it to their mother, not to me. What! am I a father of children who will be bound one day to curse me? Severe reflection! Yet I never thought of this till now. But am I the only father in such a case? No, surely! for am not I as much bound to curse my father as my children are to curse me? He might have left me happy if he would; I would them if I could. Again, are there not others who, by improper junction with persons diseased in body or vicious in mind, have entailed greater misery upon their posterity than I have on mine! My children are all healthy, strong, and sound, both in body and mind; and is not that the greatest blessing that can be bestowed on our beings? But they are imprisoned in this arkoe! What then? With industry, here is no want; and as they increase they may settle in communities, and be helpful to each other. I have lived here well nigh sixteen years, and it was God's pleasure I should be here; and can I think I was placed here with an injunction contrary to the great command, “Increase and multiply?” If that were so, can it be possible I should have received the only means of propagating, as it were, from Heaven itself? No, it was certainly as much my Maker's will that I should have posterity here, as that I myself should at first be brought thither. This is a large and plentiful spot, and capable of great improvement, when there shall be hands sufficient. How many petty states are less than these my dominions! I have here a compass of near twenty miles round, and how many thousands grow voluntarily grey in a far less circuit?

I had hardly finished my reflections (for I was sitting by myself in my tent upon one of the trees I had turned into benches), when I heard a musical voice call, “Peter! Peter!” I started. “What's this?” says I. “It is not Youwarkee's voice! What can this mean?” Listening, I heard it again, but at so great a distance I could but just perceive the sound. “Be it where it will,” says I, “I will face it!” Thus speaking, I went out of the tent, and hearkened very attentively, but could hear nothing. I then ran for my gun, and walked through the wood as fast as I could to the plain; but still I neither saw nor heard anything. I was then in hopes of seeing somebody on the lake, but no one appeared; for I was fully determined to make myself known to whomsoever I should meet; and, if possible, to gain some intelligence of my wife. But after so much fruitless pains, my hopes being at an end, I was returning when I heard, “Peter! Peter!” again at a great distance, the sound coming from a different quarter than at first. Upon this I stopped, and heard it repeated; and it was as if the speaker approached nearer and nearer. Hereupon I stepped out of the wood (for I had just re-entered it upon my return home), when I saw two persons upon the swangean just over my head. I cried out, “Who's that?” And they immediately called again, “Peter! Peter!”—Ors clam gee, says I; that is, Here am I.—On this they directly took a small sweep round (for they had overshot me before they heard me) and alighted just by me; when I perceived them to be my wife's countrymen, being dressed like her, with vol. only broader chaplets about their heads, as she had told me the glumms all wore. After a short obeisance, they asked me if I was the glumm Peter, barkett* to Youwarkee. I answered I was. They then told me they came with a message from Pendlehamby, colamb** of Arndrumn-stake, my goppo,*** and from Youwarkee his daughter. I was vastly rejoiced to see them, and to hear only the name of my wife. But though I longed to know their message, I trembled to think of their mentioning it, as one of them was just going to do, for fear of hearing something very displeasing; so I begged them to go through the wood with me to the grotto, where we should have more leisure and convenience for talk, and where, at the same time, they might take some refreshment. But though I had thus put off their message, I could not forbear inquiring by the way after the health of my goppo, and my wife and children, how they got to Arndrumnstake, and how they found their relations and friends. They told me all were well; and that Youwarkee, as she did on me, desired I would think on her with true affection. I found this was the phrase of the country. As for the rest, I hoped it would turn out well at last, though I dreaded to hear it.

     * Husband.

     ** Governor.

     *** Father-in-law.

Being arrived at the grotto, I desired my guests to sit down, and take such refreshment as I could prepare them. When they were seated, I went to work in order to provide them a repast. Seeing my fire piled up very high, and burning fierce, and the children about it, they wondered where they were got, and who they had come to, and turned their faces from it; but I setting some chairs, so that the light might not strike on their eyes, they liked the warmth well enough; though, I remarked, the light did not affect them so much as it had done Youwarkee.

Whilst I was cooking, the poor children got all up in a corner, and stared at the strangers, not being able to conceive where they came from; and by degrees crept all backwards into the bedchamber, and hid themselves; for they had never before seen anybody but my own family.

I observed that one of my guests paid more than ordinary respect to the other; and though their graundees made no distinction between them, yet there was something I thought much more noble in the address and behaviour of the latter; and taking notice that he was also the chief spokesman, I judged it proper to pay my respects to him in a somewhat more distinguishing manner, though so as not to offend the other if I should happen to be mistaken.

I first presented a can of my Madeira, and took care, as if by accident, to give it to Mr. Uppermost, as I thought him, who drank half of it, and would have given the remainder to his companion, but I begged him to drink it all up, and his friend should be served with some presently: he did so, and thanked me by lifting his hand to his chin. I then gave the other a can of the same liquor, which he drank, and returned thanks as his companion had before. I then took a can myself, and telling them I begged leave to use the ceremony of my own country to them, I drank, wishing their own health, and that of all relations at Arndrumnstake. He that I took for the superior fell a-laughing heartily: “Ha, ha, ha!” says he, “this is the very way my sister does every day at Arndrumnstake.”—“Your sister, sir!” says I, “pray has she ever been in Europe or England?”—“Well!” says he, “I have plainly discovered myself, which I did not intend to do yet; but, truly, brother Peter, I mean none other than your own wife Youwarkee.”

The moment I knew who he was, I rose up and taking him by the right hand, lifted it to my lips and kissed it. He likewise immediately stood up, and we embraced each other with great tenderness. I then begged him, as I had so worthy and near a relation of my wife's with me, that he would not delay the happiness I hoped for, in a narrative from his mouth, how it fared with my father, wife, and children, and all their kinsfolks and friends whom I had so often heard mentioned by my dearest Youwarkee, and so earnestly desired to see.

My brother Quangrollart (for that, he told me, was his name) was preparing to gratify my impatience; but seeing I had set the entertainment on the table, which consisted chiefly of bread, several sorts of pickles and preserves, with some cold salted fish, he said that eating would but interrupt the thread of his discourse; and therefore, with my leave, he would defer the relating of what I desired for a little while; which we all thinking most proper, I desired him and his friend (who might be another brother for aught I knew) to refresh themselves with the poor modicum I was able to provide them.

Whilst my brother Quangrollart was looking upon and handling his plate, being what he had never before seen, his friend had got the handle of one of the knives in his mouth, biting it with all his force; but finding he could make nothing of that end he tried the other, and got champing the blade. Perceiving what he was at, though I could not help laughing, I rose, and begging pardon, took the knife from him; telling him I believed he was not acquainted with the use of that instrument, which was one of my country implements; and that the design of it, which was called a knife, and of that other (pointing to it), called a fork, was the one to reduce the food into pieces proper for chewing, and the other to convey it to the mouth without daubing the fingers, which must happen in handling the food itself; and I then showed him what use I put them to, by helping each of them therewith to somewhat, and by cutting a piece for myself, and putting it to my mouth with the fork.

They both smiled and looked very well pleased; and then I told them that the plate was the only thing that need be daubed, and when that was taken away the table remained clean. So, after I had helped each of them for the first time, I desired them to help themselves where they liked best; and, to say the truth, they did so more dexterously than I could have expected.

During our repast we had frequent sketches of the observations they made in their flight, and of the places where they had rested; and I could plainly see that neither of them had ever been at this arkoe before, by hinting that if they had not taken such a course they had missed me.

I took particular notice which part of my entertainment they ate most of, that I might bring a fresh supply of that when wanted; and I found that though they eat heartily of my bread and preserves, and tasted almost of everything else, they never once touched the fish; which put me upon desiring I might help them to some. At this they looked upon each other, which I readily knew the meaning of, and excused themselves, expressing great satisfaction in what they had already gotten. I took, however, a piece of fish on my own plate, and eating very heartily thereof, my brother desired me to give him a bit of it; I did so, taking care to cut it as free from bones as I could, and for greater security cautioning him, in case there should be any, to pick them out, and not swallow them. He had no sooner put a piece in his mouth, but, “Rosig,” says he to his friend, “this is padsi.”—I thought indeed I had puzzled my brother when I gave him the fish, but by what he said of it, he puzzled me; for I knew not what he meant by padsi, my wife having told me they had no fish, or else I should have taken that word for their name of it. However, I cut Rosig a slice; and he agreeing it was padsi, they both ate heartily of it.

While we were at dinner, my brother told me he thought he saw some of my children just now; for his sister had informed him she had five more at home; and he asked me why they did not appear and eat with us. I excused their coming, as fearing they would only be troublesome; and said, “When we had done they should have some victuals.” But he would not be put off, and entreated me to admit them. So I called them by their names, and they came, all but Dicky, who was asleep in his hammock. I told them that Reglumm,* pointing to Quangrollart, was their uncle, their mamma's brother, and ordered them to pay their obeisance to him, which they severally did. I then made them salute Rosig. This last would have had them sit down at table; but I positively forbade that; and giving each of them a little of what we had before us, they carried it to the chests and eat it there.

     * Gentleman.

When we had done, the children helped me to clear the table, and were retiring out of the room; but then I recalled them and desired their uncle to excuse their stay, for as he had promised me news of their mammy and her family, it would be the height of pleasure to them to hear him. He seemed very much pleased with this motion, desiring by all means they might be present while he told his story. Whereupon I ordered them to the chests again, while Quangrollart delivered his narrative.

CHAPTER XXVII.

     Quangrollart's account of Youwarkee's journey, and
     reception at her father's.

Having set on the table some brandy and Madeira, and each of us taken one glass of both, I showed, by the attentiveness of my aspect and posture, how desirous I was he should proceed to what he had promised. Observing this, he went on in the following manner:—“Brother Peter,” says he, “my sister Youwarkee, as I don't doubt you will be glad to hear of her first, arrived very safe at Arndrumnstake the third day after she left you, and after a very severe flight to the dear little Hallycarnie,* who was a full day and a night on her graundee; and at last would not have been able to have reached Battringdrigg but for my sister's assistance, who, taking her sometimes on her back for a short flight, by those little refreshments enabled her to perform it: but from Battringdrigg, after some hours' rest, they came with pleasure to the White Mountains, from whence, after a small stay, they arrived at Arndrumnstake.

     * One of Wilkins' daughters.

“They alighted at our covett,* but were opposed at their entrance by the guards, to whom they did not choose to discover themselves, till notice was given to my father; who, upon hearing that some strangers desired admittance to him, sent me to introduce them, if they were proper persons for his presence, or else give orders for such other reception as was suitable to them.

“When I came to the guard, I found three gawrys and a glumm boss,** whose appearance and behaviour, I must own, prejudiced me very much in their favour. I then asked from whence they came, and their business with the colamb. You-warkee told me they came not about business of public concern, relating to the colamb's office, but out of a dutiful regard, as relations, to kiss his knees.—'My father' said I, 'shall know it immediately; but first, pray inform me of your name?'—'Your father!' replied Youwarkee; 'are you my brother Quangrollart?'—'My name is so,' says I, 'but I have only one sister, now with my father, and how I can be your brother, I am not able to guess.'—'Have you never had another sister?' says she.—'Yes,' says I, 'but she is long since dead; her name was Youwarkee.' At my mentioning her name, she fell upon my neck in tears, crying, 'My dear brother, I am that dead sister Youwarkee, and these with me are some of my children, for I have five more; but, pray, how does my father and sister?'—I started back at this declaration, to view her and the children, fearing it was some gross imposition, not in the least knowing or remembering anything of her face, after so long an absence; but I desired them to walk in, till I told my father.

     * Capital Seat.

     ** Youth.

“The guard observing the several passages between us, were amazed to think who it could be had so familiarly embraced me; especially as they saw I only played a passive part in it.

“When I went in, I did not think proper directly to inform my father what had happened; but calling my sister Hallycarnie, I let her into the circumstances of this odd affair, and desired her advice what to do: 'For,' says I, 'surely this must be some impostor; and as my father has scarce subdued his sorrow for my sister's loss, if this gawry should prove a deceiver, it will only revive his affliction, and may prove at this time extremely dangerous to him: therefore let us consider what had best be done in the matter.'

“Hallycarnie, who had attentively weighed all I said, seemed to think it was some cheat, as well as I did; for we could neither of us conceive that anything but death, or being slit, could have kept Youwarkee so long from the knowledge of her relations; and that neither of them could be the case was plain, if the person attending was Youwarkee. 'Besides, brother,' says Hallycarnie, 'she cannot surely be so much altered in fifteen years, but you must have known her; and yet, now I think, it is possible, you being so much younger, may have forgot her; but whilst we have been talking of her, I have so well recollected her, that I think I could hardly be imposed upon by any deceiver.' “I then desired her to go with me to the strangers and see if she could make any discovery. She did so, and had no sooner entered the abb,* but Youwarkee called out, 'My dear sister Hally-carnie!' and she as readily recollecting Youwarkee, they in transport embraced each other; and then your wife presenting to us her three children, it proved the tenderest scene, except the following, I ever saw.

     * Room.

“My father having kept his chamber some time with a fever, and though he was pretty well recovered, having not yet been out of it, we consulted how we might introduce our sister and children to him, with as little surprise as might be, for fear of a relapse by too great a hurry of his spirits. At length we concluded I should go tell him that some strangers had arrived desiring to see him; but on inquiry, finding their business was too trifling to trouble him upon, I had despatched them; I was then to say how like one of them was to my sister Youwarkee; and whilst I was speaking, Hallycarnie was to enter, and keep up the discourse till we should find a proper opportunity of discovery. I went in, therefore, as had been agreed; and upon mentioning the name of Youwarkee, my father fetched a deep sigh and turned away from me in tears. At that instant Hallycarnie came in as by accident. 'Sir,' says she, 'what makes you so sad? are you worse to-day?'—'Oh,' says he, 'I have heard a name that will never be out of my heart, till I am in hoximo.'*—'What, I suppose my sister?'—''Tis true,' replied he, 'the same.'—Says she, 'I fancied so, for I have just seen a stranger as like her as two dorrs** could be, and would have sworn it was she, if that had been possible. I thought my brother had been so imprudent as to mention her to you; and I think he did not do well to rip up an old sore he knew was almost healed, and make it break out afresh.'—'Ah! no, child,' says my father, 'that sore never has, nor can be healed. O Great Image! why can't it by some means or other be ascertained what end she came to?'

     * A place where the dead are buried.

     ** A fruit like an apple.

“'Sir,' says my sister, 'I think you are much to blame for these exclamations, after so long absence; for, if she be dead, what use are they of? and if she be not, all may be well, and you may still see her again.'—'Oh, never, never!' says my father; 'but could I be sure she was alive, I would take a swangean and never close my graundee till I found her, or dropt dead in the search.'—'And suppose you could meet with her, sir,' says I, 'the very sight would overcome you, and be dangerous.' 'No, believe me, boy,' says he, 'I should then be fully easy and composed; and were she to come in this moment, I should suffer no surprise, but pleasure.'—'No surprise, sir?' says I.—'Not if she were alive and well,' says he.—'Then, sir,' says Hallycarnie, 'will you excuse me if I introduce her?' and went out directly without staying for an answer.

“When she was gone, 'Quangrollart,' says my father sternly, 'what is the meaning of yours and your sister's playing thus upon my weakness? It is what I can upon no account forgive. It looks as if you were weary of me, and wanted to break my heart. To what purpose is all this prelude of yours, to introduce to me somebody, who, by her likeness to my daughter, may expose me to your scoff and raillery? This is a disobedience I never expected from either of you.'

“'The Great Image attend me!' says I; 'sir, you have much mistaken me; but I will not leave you in doubt, even till Hallycarnie's return. You shall see Youwarkee with her; for all our discourse, I'll assure you, has but been concerted to prepare you for her reception, with three of her children.' 'And am I then, says he, in a transport, 'still to be blessed?'—'You are, sir,' says I, 'assure yourself you are.'

“By this time we heard them coming, but my poor father had not power to go to meet them: and upon Youwarkee's nearer approach, to fall at his knees, his limbs failing him, he sunk, and without speaking a word, fell backwards on a cught drappec,* which stood behind him; and, being quite motionless, we concluded him to be stone-dead. On this the women became entirely helpless, screaming only, and wringing their hands in extravagant postures. But I, having a little more presence of mind, called for the calentar;** who, by holding his nose, pinching his feet, and other applications, in a little time brought him to his senses again.

     * A bed or couch covered with a sort of cotton.

     ** A sort of doctor in all great families.

“You may more easily conceive than I describe, both the confusion we were all in during my father's disorder, and the congratulations upon his recovery; so, as I can give you but a defective account of these, I shall pass them by, and come to our more serious discourse, after my father and your wife had, without speaking a word, wept themselves quite dry on each other's necks.

“My father, then looking upon the three children (who were also crying to see their mamma cry), 'And who are these?' says he.—'These, sir,' says Youwarkee, 'are three of eight of your grandchildren.'—'And where is your barkett?' says he. 'At home with the rest, sir,' replied she, 'who are some of them too small to come so far yet; but, sir,' says she, 'pray excuse my answering you any more questions, till you are a little recovered from the commotion I perceive my presence has brought upon your spirits; and as rest, the calentar says, will be exceedingly proper, I will retire with my sister till you are better able to bear company.' My father was with much difficulty prevailed with to part with her out of his sight: but the calentar pressing it, we were all dismissed, and he laid down to rest.”

My brother would have gone on, but I told him, as it grew near time for repose, and he and Rosig must needs be fatigued with so long a flight, if they pleased (as I had already heard the most valuable part of all he could say, in that my father had received my wife and children so kindly, and that he left them all well) we could defer his farther relation till the next day; which they both agreeing to, I laid them in my own bed, myself sleeping in a spare hammock.

END OF VOL. I.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO. EDINBURGH AND LONDON.

 
 
 

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