We cut and hew'd the out-side
into the true Shape of a Boat
After I had been two or three Days return'd to my Castle, I thought that, in order to bring Friday off from his horrid way of feeding, and from the Relish of a Cannibal's Stomach, I ought to let him taste other Flesh; so I took him out with me one Morning to the Woods: I went indeed intending to kill a Kid out of my own Flock, and bring him home and dress it. But as I was going, I saw a She Goat lying down in the Shade, and two young Kids sitting by her; I catch'd hold of Friday, hold says I, stand still; and made Signs to him not to stir, immediately I presented my Piece, shot and kill'd one of the Kids. The poor Creature who had at a Distance indeed seen me kill the Savage his Enemy, but did not know, or could imagine how it was done, was sensibly surpriz'd, trembled, and shook, and look'd so amaz'd, that I thought he would have sunk down. He did not see the Kid I shot at, or perceive I had kill'd it, but ripp'd up his Wastcoat to feel if he was not wounded, and as I found, presently thought I was resolv'd to kill him; for he came and kneel'd down to me, and embraceing my Knees, said a great many Things I did not understand; but I could easily see that the meaning was to pray me not to kill him.
I soon found a way to convince him that I would do him no harm, and taking him up by the Hand laugh'd at him, and pointed to the Kid which I had kill'd, beckoned to him to run and fetch it, which he did; and while he was wondering and looking to see how the Creature was kill'd, I loaded my Gun again, and by and by I saw a great Fowl like a Hawk sit upon a Tree within Shot; so to let Friday understand a little what I would do, I call'd him to me again, pointed at the Fowl which was indeed a Parrot, tho' I thought it had been a Hawk, I say pointing to the Parrot, and to my Gun, and to the Ground under the Parrot, to let him see I would make it fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill that Bird; accordingly I fir'd and bad him look, and immediately he saw the Parrot fall, he stood like one frighted again, notwithstanding all I had said to him; and I found he was the more amaz'd, because he did not see me put any Thing into the Gun; but thought that there must be some wonderful Fund of Death and Destruction in that Thing, able to kill Man, Beast, Bird, or any Thing near, or far off; and the Astonishment this created in him was such, as could not wear off for a long Time; and I believe, if I would have let him, he would have worshipp'd me and my Gun: As for the Gun it self, he would not so much as touch it for several Days after; but would speak to it, and talk to it, as if it had answer'd him, when he was by himself; which, as I afterwards learn'd of him, was to desire it not to kill him.
Well, after his Astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to him to run and fetch the Bird I had shot, which he did, but stay'd some Time; for the Parrot not being quite dead, was flutter'd away a good way off from the Place where she fell; however, he found her, took her up, and brought her to me; and as I had perceivd his Ignorance about the Gun before, I took this Advantage to charge the Gun again, and not let him see me do it, that 1 might be ready for any other Mark that might present; but nothing more offer'd at that Time; so I brought home the Kid, and the same Evening I took the Skin off, and cut it out as well as I could; and having a Pot for that purpose, I boil'd, or stew'd some of the Flesh, and made some very good Broth; and after I had begun to eat some, I gave some to my Man, who seem'd very glad of it, and lik'd it very well; but that which was strangest to him, was, to see me eat Salt with it; he made a Sign to me, that the Salt was not good to eat, and putting a little into his own Mouth, he seem'd to nauseate it, and would spit and sputter at it, washing his Mouth with fresh Water after it; on the other hand, I took some Meat in my Mouth without Salt, and I pretended to spit and sputter for want of Salt, as fast as he had done at the Salt; but it would not do, he would never care for Salt with his Meat, or in his Broth; at least not a great while, and then but a very little.
Having thus fed him with boil'd Meat and Broth, I was resolv'd to feast him the next Day with roasting a Piece of the Kid; this 1 did by hanging it before the Fire, in a String, as I had seen many People do in England, setting two Poles up, one on each side the Fire, and one cross on the Top, and tying the String to the Cross-stick, letting the Meat turn continually: This Friday admir'd very much; but when he came to taste the Flesh, he took so many ways to tell me how well he lik'd it, that I could not but understand him; and at last he told me he would never eat Man's Flesh any more, which I was very glad to hear.
The next Day I set him to work to beating some Corn out, and sifting it in the manner I us'd to do, as I observ'd before and he soon understood how to do it as well as I, especially after he had seen what the Meaning of it was, and that it was to make Bread of; for after that I let him see me make my Bread, and bake it too, and in a little Time Friday was able to do all the Work for me, as well as I could do it my self.
I begun now to consider, that having two Mouths to feed, instead of one, I must provide more Ground for my Harvest, and plant a larger Quantity of Corn, than I us'd to do; so I mark'd out a larger Piece of Land, and began the Fence in the same Manner as before, in which Friday not only work'd very willingly, and very hard; but did it very chearfully, and I told him what it was for; that it was for Corn to make more Bread, because he was now with me, and that I might have enough for him, and my self too: He appear'd very sensible of that Part, and let me know, that he thought I had much more Labour upon me on his Account, than I had for my self; and that he would work the harder for me, if I would tell him what to do.
This was the pleasantest Year of all the Life I led in this Place; Friday began to talk pretty well, and understand the Names of almost every Thing I had occasion to call for, and of every Place I had to send him to, and talk'd a great deal to me; so that in short I began now to have some Use for my Tongue again, which indeed I had very little occasion for before; that is to say, about Speech; besides the Pleasure of talking to him, I had a singular Satisfaction in the Fellow himself; his simple unfeign'd Honesty, appear'd to me more and more every Day, and I began really to love the Creature; and on his Side, I believe he lov'd me more than it was possible for him ever to love any Thing before.
I had a Mind once to try if he had any hankering Inclination to his own Country again, and having learn'd him English so well that he could answer me almost any Questions, I ask'd him whether the Nation that he belong'd to never conquer'd in Battle, at which he smil'd; and said; yes, yes, we always fight the better; that is, he meant always get the better in Fight; and so we began the following Discourse: You always fight the better said I, How came you to be taken Prisoner then, Friday?
Friday, My Nation beat much, for all that.
Master, How beat; if your Nation beat them, how come you to be taken?
Friday, They more many than my Nation in the Place where me was; they take one, two, three, and me; my Nation over beat them in the yonder Place, where me no was; there my Nation take one, two, great Thousand.
Master, But why did not your Side recover you from the Hands of your Enemies then?
Friday, They run one, two, three, and me, and make go in the Canoe; my Nation have no Canoe that time.
Master, Well, Friday, and What does your Nation do with the Men they take, do they carry them away, and eat them, as these did?
Friday, Yes, my Nation eat Mans too, eat all up.
Master, Where do they carry them?
Friday, Go to other Place where they think.
Master, Do they come hither?
Friday, Yes, yes, they come hither; come other else Place.
Master, Have you been here with them?
Friday, Yes, I been here; [points to the N.W. Side of the Island, which it seems was their Side.]
By this I understood, that my Man Friday had formerly been among the Savages, who us'd to come on Shore on the farther Part of the Island, on the same Man eating Occasions that he was now brought for; and sometime after, when I took the Courage to carry him to that Side, being the same I formerly mention'd, he presently knew the Place, and told me, he was there once when they eat up twenty Men, two Women, and one Child; he could not tell Twenty in English; but he numbred them by laying so many Stones on a Row, and pointing to me to tell them over.
I have told this Passage, because it introduces what follows; that after I had had this Discourse with him, I ask'd him how far it was from our Island to the Shore, and whether the Canoes were not often lost; he told me, there was no Danger, no Canoes ever lost; but that after a little way out to the Sea, there was a Current, and Wind, always one way in the Morning, the other in the Afternoon.
This I understood to be no more than the Sets of the Tide, as going out, or coming in; but I afterwards understood, it was occasion'd by the great Draft and Reflux of the mighty River Oroonooko; in the Mouth, or the Gulph of which River, as I found afterwards, our Island lay; and this Land which I perceiv'd to the W. and N. W. was the great Island Trinidad, on the North Point of the Mouth of the River: I ask'd Friday a thousand Questions about the Country, the Inhabitants, the Sea, the Coast, and what Nation were near; he told me all he knew with the greatest Openness imaginable; I ask'd him the Names of the several Nations of his Sort of People; but could get no other Name than Caribs; from whence I easily understood, that these were the Caribbees, which our Maps place on the Part of America, which reaches from the Mouth of the River Oroonooko to Guiana, and onwards to St. Martha: He told me that up a great way beyond the Moon, that was, beyond the Setting of the Moon, which must be W. from their Country, there dwelt white bearded Men, like me; and pointed to my great Whiskers, which I mention'd before; and that they had kill'd much Mans, that was his Word; by all which I under stood he meant the Spaniards, whose Cruelties in America had been spread over the whole Countries, and was remember'd by all the Nations from Father to Son.
I enquir'd if he could tell me how I might come from this Island, and get among those white Men; he told me, yes, yes, I might go in two Canoe; I could not understand what he meant, or make him describe to me what he meant by two Canoe, till at last with great Difficulty, I found he meant it must be in a large great Boat, as big as two Canoes.
This Part of Friday's Discourse began to relish with me very well, and from this Time I entertain'd some Hopes, that one Time or other, I might find an Opportunity to make my Escape from this Place; and that this poor Savage might be a Means to help me to do It.
During the long Time that Friday has now been with me, and that he began to speak to me, and understand me, I was not wanting to lay a Foundation of religious Knowledge in his Mind; particularly I ask'd him one Time who made him? The poor Creature did not understand me at all, but thought I had ask'd who was his Father; but I took it by another handle, and ask'd him who made the Sea, the Ground we walk'd on, and the Hills, and Woods; he told me it was one old Benamuckee, that liv'd beyond all: He could describe nothing of this great Person, but that he was very old; much older he said than the Sea, or the Land; than the Moon, or the Stars: I ask'd him then, if this old Person had made all Things, why did not all Things worship him; he look'd very grave, and with a perfect Look of Innocence, said, All Things do say O to him: I ask'd him if the People who die in his Country went away any where; he said, yes, they all went to Benamuckee; then I ask'd him whether these they eat up went thither too, he said yes.
From these Things, I began to instruct him in the Know ledge of the true God: I told him that the great Maker of all Things liv'd up there, pointing up towards Heaven: That he governs the World by the same Power and Providence by which he had made it: That he was omnipotent, could do every Thing for us, give every Thing to us, take every Thing from us; and thus by Degrees I open'd his Eyes. He listned with great Attention, and receiv'd with Pleasure the Notion of Jesus Christ being sent to redeem us, and of the Manner of making our Prayers to God, and his being able to hear us, even into Heaven; he told me one Day, that if our God could hear us up beyond the Sun, he must needs be a greater God than their Benamuckee, who liv'd but a little way off, and yet could not hear, till they went up to the great Mountains where he dwelt, to speak to him; I ask'd him if ever he went thither, to speak to him; he said no, they never went that were young Men; none went thither but the old Men, who he call'd their Oowocakee, that is, as I made him explain it to me, their Religious, or Clergy, and that they went to say O, (so he called saying Prayers) and then came back, and told them what Benamuckee said: By this I observ'd, That there is Priestcraft, even amongst the most blinded ignorant Pagans in the World; and the Policy of making a secret Religion, in order to preserve the Veneration of the People to the Clergy, is not only to be found in the Roman, but perhaps among all Religions in the World, even among the most brutish and barbarous Savages.
I endeavour'd to clear up this Fraud, to my Man Friday, and told him, that the Pretence of their old Men going up the Mountains, to say O to their God Benamuckee, was a Cheat, and their bringing Word from thence what he said, was much more so; that if they met with any Answer, or spake with any one there, it must be with an evil Spirit: And then I entred into a long Discourse with him about the Devil, the Original of him, his Rebellion against God, his Enmity to Man, the Reason of it, his setting himself up in the dark Parts of the World to be Worship'd instead of God, and as God; and the many Stratagems he made use of to delude Mankind to his Ruine; how he had a secret access to our Passions, and to our Affections, to adapt his Snares so to our Inclinations, as to cause us even to be our own Tempters, and to run upon our Destruction by our own Choice.
I found it was not so easie to imprint right Notions in his Mind about the Devil, as it was about the Being of a God. Nature assisted all my Arguments to Evidence to him, even the Necessity Of a great first Cause and over-ruling governing Power; a secret directing Providence, and of the Equity, and Justice, of paying Homage to him that made us, and the like. But there appeared nothing of all this in the Notion of an evil Spirit; of his Original, his Being, his Nature, and above all of his Inclination to do Evil, and to draw us in to do so too; and the poor Creature puzzl'd me once in such a manner, by a Question meerly natural and innocent, that I scarce knew what to say to him. I had been talking a great deal to him of the Power of God, his Omnipotence, his dreadful Nature to Sin, his being a consuming Fire to the Workers of Iniquity; how, as he had made us all, he could destroy us and all the World in a Moment; and he listen'd with great Seriousness to me all the while.
After this, I had been telling him how the Devil was God's Enemy in the Hearts of Men, and used all his Malice and Skill to defeat the good Designs of Providence, and to ruine the Kingdom of Christ in the World; and the like. Well, says Friday, but you say, God is so strong, so great, is he not much strong, much might as the Devil? Yes, yes, says I, Friday, God is stronger than the Devil, God is above the Devil, and therefore we pray to God to tread him down under our Feet, and enable us to resist his Temptations and quench his fiery Darts. But, says he again, if God much strong, much might as the Devil, why God no kill the Devil, so make him no more do wicked?
I was strangely surpriz'd at his Question, and after all, tho' I was now an old Man, yet I was but a young Doctor, and ill enough quallified for a Casuist, or a Solver of Difficulties And at first I could not tell what to say, so I pre tended not to hear him, and ask'd him what he said? But he was too earnest for an Answer to forget his Question; so that he repeated it in the very same broken Words, as above. By this time I had recovered my self a little, and I said, God will at last punish him severely; he is reserv'd for the Judgment, and is to be cast into the Bottomless-Pit, to dwell with ever lasting Fire. This did not satisfie Friday, but he returns upon me, repeating my Words, RESERVE, AT LAST, me no understand; but, Why not kill the Devil now, not kill great ago? You may as well ask me, said I, Why God does not kill you and I, when we do wicked Things here that offend him? We are preserv'd to repent and be pardon'd: He muses a while at this; mell, All, says he, mighty affectionately, that well; so you, I, Devil, all wicked, all preserve, repent, God pardon all. Here I was run down again by him to the last Degree, and it was a Testimony to me, how the meer Notions of Nature, though they will guide reasonable Creatures to the Know ledge of a God, and of a Worship or Homage due to the supreme Being, of God as the Consequence of our Nature; yet nothing but divine Revelation can form the Knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of a Redemption purchas'd for us, of a Mediator of the new Covenant, and of an Intercessor, at the Foot-stool of God's Throne; I say, nothing but a Revelation from Heaven, can form these in the Soul, and that therefore the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; I mean, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God promis'd for the Guide and Sanctifier of his People, are the absolutely necessary Instructors of the Souls of Men, in the saving Knowledge of God, and the Means of Salvation.
I therefore diverted the present Discourse between me and my Man, rising up hastily, as upon some sudden Occasion of going out; then sending him for something a good way off, I seriously pray'd to God that he would enable me to instruct savingly this poor Savage, assisting by his Spirit the Heart of the poor ignorant Creature, to receive the Light of the Knowledge of God in Christ, reconciling him to himself, and would guide me to speak so to him from the Word of God, as his Conscience might be convinc'd, hid Eyes open'd, and his Soul sav'd. When he came again to me, I entred into a long Discourse with him upon the Subject of the Redemption of Man by the Saviour of the World, and of the Doctrine of the Gospel preach'd from Heaven, viz. of Repentance towards God, and Faith in our Blessed Lord Jesus. I then explain'd to him, as well as I could, why our Blessed Redeemer took not on him the Nature of Angels, but the Seed of Abraham, and how for that Reason the fallen Angels had no Share in the Redemption; that he came only to the lost Sheep of the House of Israel, and the like.
I had, God knows, more Sincerity than Knowledge, in all the Methods I took for this poor Creature's Instruction, and must acknowledge what I believe all that act upon the same Principle will find, That in laying Things open to him, I really inform'd and instructed my self in many Things, that either I did not know, or had not fully consider'd before; but which occurr'd naturally to my Mind, upon my searching into them, for the Information of this poor Savage; and I had more Affection in my Enquiry after Things upon this Occasion, than ever I felt before; so that whether this poor wild Wretch was the better for me, or no, I had great Reason to be thankful that ever he came to me: My Grief set lighter upon me, my Habitation grew comfortable to me beyond Measure; and when I reflected that in this solitary Life which I had been confin'd to, I had not only been moved my self to look up to Heaven, and to seek to the Hand that had brought me there; but was now to be made an Instrument under Providence to save the Life, and for ought I knew, the Soul of a poor Savage, and bring him to the true Knowledge of Religion, and of the Christian Doctrine, that he might know Christ Jesus, to know whom is Life eternal. I say, when I reflected upon all these Things, a secret Joy run through every Part of my Soul, and I frequently rejoyc'd that ever I was brought to this Place, which I had so often thought the most dreadful of all Afflictions that could possibly have befallen me.
In this thankful Frame I continu'd all the Remainder of my Time, and the Conversation which employ'd the Hours between Friday and I, was such, as made the three Years which we liv'd there together perfectly and compleatly happy, if any such Thing as compleat Happiness can be form'd in a sublunary State. The Savage was now a good Christian, a much better than I; though I have reason to hope, and bless God for it, that we were equally penitent, and comforted restor'd Penitents; we had here the Word of God to read, and no farther off from his Spirit to instruct, than if we had been in England.
I always apply'd my self in Reading the Scripture, to let him know, as well as I could, the Meaning of what I read; and he again, by his serious Enquiries, and Questionings, made me, as I said before, a much better Scholar in the Scripture Knowledge, than I should ever have been by my own private meer Reading. Another thing I cannot refrain from observing here also from Experience, in this retir'd Part of my Life,viz. How infinite and inexpressible a Blessing it is, that the Knowledge of God, and of the Doctrine of Salvation by Christ Jesus, is so plainly laid down in the Word of God; so easy to be receiv'd and understood: That as the bare reading the Scripture made me capable of understanding enough of my Duty, to carry me directly on to the great Work of sincere Repentance for my Sins, and laying hold of a Saviour for Life and Salvation, to a stated Reformation in Practice, and Obedience to all God's Commands, and this without any Teacher or Instructer; I mean, humane; so the same plain Instruction sufficiently serv'd to the enlightning this Savage Creature, and bringing him to be such a Christian, as I have known few equal to him in my Life.
As to all the Disputes, Wranglings, Strife and Contention, which has happen'd in the World about Religion, whether Niceties in Doctrines, or Schemes of Church Government, they were all perfectly useless to us; as for ought I can yet see, they have been to all the rest of the World: We had the sure Guide to Heaven, viz. The Word of God; and we had, blessed be God, comfortable Views of the Spirit of God teaching and instructing us by his Word, leading us into all Truth, and making us both willing and obedient to the Instruction of his Word; and I cannot see the least Use that the greatest Knowledge of the disputed Points in Religion which have made such Confusions in the World would have been to us, if we could have obtain'd it; but I must go on with the Historical Part of Things, and take every Part in its order.
I describ'd to him the Country of Europe, and particularly England, which I came from; how we liv'd, how we worshipp'd God, how we behav'd to one another; and how we traded in Ships to all Parts of the World: I gave him an Account of the Wreck which I had been on board of, and shew'd him as near as I could, the Place where she lay; but she was all beaten in Pieces before, and gone.
I shew'd him the Ruins of our Boat, which we lost when we escap'd, and which I could not stir with my whole Strength then; but was now fallen almost all to Pieces: Upon seeing this Boat, Friday stood musing a great while, and said nothing; I ask'd him what it was he study'd upon, at last says he, me see such Boat like come to Place at my Nation.
I did not understand him a good while; but at last, when I had examin'd farther into it, I understood by him, that a Boat, such as that had been, came on Shore upon the Country where he liv'd; that is, as he explain'd it, was driven thither by Stress of Weather: I presently imagin'd, that some European Ship must have been cast away upon their Coast, and the Boat might get loose, and drive a Shore; but was so dull, that I never once thought of Men making escape from a Wreck thither, much less whence they might come; so I only enquir'd after a Description of the Boat.
Friday describ'd the Boat to me well enough; but brought me better to understand him, when he added with some Warmth, we save the white Mans from drown: Then I presently ask'd him, if there was any white Mans, as he call'd them, in the Boat; yes, he said, the Boat full white Mans: I ask'd him how many; he told upon his Fingers seventeen: I ask'd him then what become of them; he told me, they live, they dwell at my Nation.
This put new Thoughts into my Head; for I presently imagin'd, that these might be the Men belonging to the Ship, that was cast away in Sight of my Island, as I now call it; and who after the Ship was struck on the Rock, and they saw her inevitably lost, had sav'd themselves in their Boat, and were landed upon that wild Shore among the Savages.
Upon this, I enquir'd of him more critically, What was become of them? He assur'd me they lived still there; that they had been there about four Years; that the Savages let them alone, and gave them Victuals to live. I ask'd him, How it came to pass they did not kill them and eat them? He said No, they make Brother with them; that is, as I understood him, a Truce: And then he added, They no eat Mans but when make the War fight; that is to say, they never eat any Men but such as come to fight with them, and are taken in Battle.
It was after this some considerable Time, that being upon the Top of the Hill, at the East Side of the Island, from whence as have said, I had in a clear Day discover'd the Main, or Continent of America; Friday, the Weather being very serene, looks very earnestly towards the Main Land, and in a kind of Surprise, falls a jumping and dancing, and calls out to me, for I was at some Distance from him: I ask'd him, What was the Matter? O joy! Says he, O glad! There see my Country, there my Nation!
I observ'd an extraordinary Sense of Pleasure appear'd in his Face, and his Eyes sparkled, and his Countenance discover'd a strange Eagerness, as if he had a Mind to be in his own Country again; and this Observation of mine, put a great many Thoughts into me, which made me at first not so easy about my new Man Friday as I was before; and I made no doubt, but that if Friday could get back to his own Nation again, he would not only forget all his Religion, but all his Obligation to me; and would be forward enough to give his Countrymen an Account of me, and come back perhaps with a hundred or two of them, and make a Feast upon me, at which he might be as merry as he us'd to be with those of his Enemies, when they were taken in War.
But I wrong'd the poor honest Creature very much, for which I was very sorry afterwards. However as my Jealousy encreased, and held me some Weeks, I was a little more circumspect, and not so familiar and kind to him as before; in which I was certainly in the Wrong too, the honest grateful Creature having no thought about it, but what consisted with the best Principles, both as a religious Christian, and as a grateful Friend, as appeared afterwards to my full Satisfaction.
While my Jealousy of him lasted, you may be sure I was every Day pumping him to see if he would discover any of the new Thoughts, which I suspected were in him; but I found every thing he said was so Honest, and so Innocent, that I could find nothing to nourish my Suspicion; and in spight of all my Uneasiness he made me at last entirely his own again, nor did he in the least perceive that I was Uneasie, and therefore I could not suspect him of Deceit.
One Day walking up the same Hill, but the Weather being haizy at Sea, so that we could not see the Continent, I call'd to him, and said, Friday, do not you wish your self in your own Country, your own Nation? Yes, he said, he be much O glad to be at his own Nation. What would you do there said I, would you turn Wild again, eat Mens Flesh again, and be a Savage as you were before? He lookt full of Concern, and shaking his Head said, No no, Friday tell them to live Good, tell them to pray God, tell them to eat Corn bread, Cattleflesh, Milk, no eat Man again: Why then said I to him, They will kill you. He look'd grave at that, and then said, No, they no kill me, they willing love learn: He meant by this, they would be willing to learn. He added, they learn'd much of the Bearded-Mans that come in the Boat. Then I ask'd him if he would go back to them? He smil'd at that, and told me he could not swim so far. I told him I would make a Canoe for him. He told me, he would go, if I would go with him. I go! says I, why they will Eat me if I come there! No, no, says he, me make they no Eat you; me make they much Love you: He meant he would tell them how I had kill'd his Enemies, and sav'd his Life, and so he would make them love me; then he told me as well as he could, how kind they were to seventeen White-men, or Bearded-men, as he call'd them, who came on Shore there in Distress.
From this time I confess I had a Mind to venture over, and see if I could possibly joyn with these Bearded-men, who I made no doubt were Spaniards or Portuguese; not doubting but if I could we might find some Method to Escape from thence, being upon the Continent, and a good Company together, better than I could from an Island 40 Miles off the Shore, and alone without Help. So after some Days I took Friday to work again, by way of Discourse, and told him I would give him a Boat to go back to his own Nation; and accordingly I carry'd him to my Frigate which lay on the other Side of the Island, and having clear'd it of Water, for I always kept it sunk in the Water, I brought it out, shewed it him, and we both went into it.
I found he was a most dextrous Fellow at managing it, would make it go almost as swift and fast again as I could; so when he was in, I said to him, Well now, Friday, shall we go to your Nation? He look'd very dull at my saying so, which it seems was, because he thought the Boat too small to go so far. I told him then I had a bigger; so the next Day I went to the Place where the first Boat lay which I had made, but which I could not get into Water: He said that was big enough; but then as I had taken no Care of it, and it had lain two or three and twenty Years there, the Sun had split and dry'd it, that it was in a manner rotten. Friday told me such a Boat would do very well, and would carry much enough Vittle, Drink, Bread, that was his Way of Talking.
Upon the whole, I was by this Time so fix'd upon my Design of going over with him to the Continent, that I told him we would go and make one as big as that, and he should go home in it. He answer'd not one Word, but look'd very grave and sad: I ask'd him what was the matter with him? He ask'd me again thus; Why, you angry mad with Friday, what me done? I ask'd him what he meant; I told him I was not angry with him at all. No angry! No angry! says he, repeating the Words several Times, Why send Friday home away to my Nation? Why, (says I) Friday, did you not say you wish'd you were there? Yes, yes, says he, wish be both there, no wish Friday there, no Master there. In a Word, he would not think of going there without me; I go there! Friday, (says I) what shall I do there? He turn'd very quick upon me at this: You do great deal much good, says he, you teach wild Mans be good sober tame Mans; you tell them know God, pray and live new Life. Alas! Friday, (says I) thou knowest not what thou sayest, I am but an ignorant Man my self Yes, yes, says he, you teachee me Good, you teachee them Good. No, no, Friday, (says I) you shall go without me, leave me here to live by my self as I did before. He look'd confus'd again at that Word, and running to one of the Hatchets which he used to wear, he takes it up hastily, comes and gives it me, What must I do with this? says I to him. You take, kill Friday; (says he.) What must I kill you for? said I again. He returns very quick, What you send Friday away for? take, kill Friday, no send Friday away. This he spoke so earnestly, that I saw Tears stand in his Eyes: In a Word, I so plainly discover'd the utmost Affection in him to me, and a firm Resolution in him, that I told him then, and often after, that I would never send him away from me, if he was willing to stay with me.
Upon the whole, as I found by all his Discourse a settled Affection to me, and that nothing should part him from me, so I found all the Foundation of his Desire to go to his own Country, was laid in his ardent Affection to the People, and his Hopes of my doing them good; a Thing which as I had no Notion of my self, so I had not the least Thought or Intention, or Desire of undertaking it. But still I found a strong Inclination to my attempting an Escape as above, founded on the Supposition gather'd from the Discourse, (viz.) That there were seventeen bearded Men there; and therefore, without any more Delay, I went to Work with Friday to find out a great Tree proper to fell, and make a large Periagua or Canoe to undertake the Voyage. There were Trees enough in the Island to have built a little Fleet, not of Periagua's and Canoes, but even of good large Vessels. But the main Thing I look'd at, was to get one so near the Water that we might launch it when it was made, to avoid the Mistake I committed at first.
At last, Friday pitch'd upon a Tree, for I found he knew much better than I what kind of Wood was fittest for it, nor can I tell to this Day what Wood to call the Tree we cut down, except that it was very like the Tree we call Fustic, or between that and the Nicaragua Wood, for it was much of the same Colour and Smell. Friday was for burning the Hollow or Cavity of this Tree out to make it for a Boat. But I shew'd him how rather to cut it out with Tools, which, after I had shew'd him how to use, he did very handily, and in about a Month's hard Labour, we finished it, and made it very handsome, especially when with our Axes, which I shew'd him how to handle, we cut and hew'd the out-side into the true Shape of a Boat; after this, however, it cost us near a Fortnight's Time to get her along as it were Inch by Inch upon great Rowlers into the Water. But when she was in, she would have carry'd twenty Men with great Ease.
When she was in the Water, and tho' she was so big it amazed me to see with what Dexterity and how swift my Man Friday would manage her, turn her, and paddle her along; so I ask'd him if he would, and if we might venture over in her; Yes, he said, he venture over in her very well, tho' great blow Wind. However, I had a farther Design that he knew nothing of, and that was to make a Mast and Sail and to fit her with an Anchor and Cable: As to a Mast, that was easy enough to get; so I pitch'd upon a strait young Cedar-Tree, which I found near the Place, and which there was great Plenty of in the Island, and I set Friday to Work to cut it down, and gave him Directions how to shape and order it. But as to the Sail, that was my particular Care; I knew I had old Sails, or rather Pieces of old Sails enough; but as I had had them now six and twenty Years by me, and had not been very careful to preserve them, not imagining that I should ever have this kind of Use for them, I did not doubt but they were all rotten, and indeed most of them were so; however, I found two Pieces which appear'd pretty good, and with these I went to Work, and with a great deal of Pains, and awkward tedious stitching (you may be sure) for Want of Needles, I at length made a three Corner'd ugly Thing, like what we call in England, a Shoulder of Mutton Sail, to go with a Boom at bottom, and a little short Sprit at the Top, such as usually our Ships Long Boats sail with, and such as I best knew how to manage; because it was such a one as I had to the Boat, in which I made my Escape from Barbary, as related in the first Part of my Story.
I was near two Months performing this last Work, viz. rigging and fitting my Mast and Sails; for I finish'd them very compleat, making a small Stay, and a Sail, or Foresail to it, to assist, if we should turn to Windward; and which was more than all, I fix'd a Rudder to the Stern of her, to steer with; and though I was but a bungling Shipwright, yet as I knew the Usefulness, and even Necessity of such a Thing, I apply'd my self with so much Pains to do it, that at last I brought it to pass; though considering the many dull Contrivances I had for it that sail'd, I think it cost me almost as much Labour as making the Boat.
After all this was done too, I had my Man Friday to teach as to what belong'd to the Navigation of my Boat; for though he knew very well how to paddle a Canoe, he knew nothing what belong'd to a Sail, and a Rudder; and was the most amaz'd, when he saw me work the Boat too and again in the Sea by the Rudder, and how the Sail gyb'd, and fill'd this way, or that way, as the Course we sail'd chang'd; I say, when he saw this, he stood like one, astonish'd and amaz'd: However, with a little Use, I made all these Things familiar to him; and he became an expert Sailor, except that as to the Compass, I could make him understand very little of that. On the other hand, as there was very little cloudy Weather, and seldom or never any Fogs in those Parts, there was the less occasion for a Compass, seeing the Stars were always to be seen by Night, and the Shore by Day, except in the rainy Seasons, and then no body car'd to stir abroad, either by Land or Sea.
I was now entred on the seven and twentieth Year of my Captivity in this Place; though the three last Years that I had this Creature with me, ought rather to be left out of the Account, my Habitation being quite of another kind than in all the rest of the Time. I kept the Anniversary of my Landing here with the same Thankfulness to God for his Mercies, as at first; and if I had such Cause of Acknowledgment at first, I had much more so now, having such additional Testimonies of the Care of Providence over me, and the great Hopes I had of being effectually, and speedily deliver'd; for I had an invincible Impression upon my Thoughts, that my Deliverance was at hand, and that I should not be another Year in this Place: However, I went on with my Husbandry, digging, planting, fencing, as usual; I gather'd and cur'd my Grapes, and did every necessary Thing as before.
The rainy Season was in the mean Time upon me, when I kept more within Doors than at other Times; so I had stow'd our new Vessel as secure as we could, bringing her up into the Creek, where as I said, in the Beginning I landed my Rafts from the Ship, and haling her up to the Shore, at high Water mark, I made my Man Friday dig a little Dock, just big enough to hold her, and just deep enough to give her Water enough to fleet in; and then when the Tide was out, we made a strong Dam cross the End of it, to keep the Water out; and so she lay dry, as to the Tide from the Sea; and to keep the Rain off, we laid a great many Boughs of Trees, so thick, that she was as well thatch'd as a House; and thus we waited for the Month of November and December, in which I design'd to make my Adventure.
When the settled Season began to come in, as the thought of my Design return'd with the fair Weather, I was pre paring daily for the Voyage; and the first Thing I did, was to lay by a certain Quantity of Provisions, being the Stores for our Voyage; and intended in a Week or a Fortnight's Time, to open the Dock, and launch out our Boat. I was busy one Morning upon some Thing of this kind, when I call'd to Friday, and bid him go to the Sea Shore, and see if he could find a Turtle, or Tortoise, a Thing which we generally got once a Week, for the Sake of the Eggs, as well as the Flesh: Friday had not been long gone, when he came running back, and flew over my outer Wall, or Fence, like one that felt not the Ground, or the Steps he set his Feet on; and before I had time to speak to him, he cries out to me, O Master! O Master! O Sorrow! O bad! What's the Matter, Friday? says I; O yonder, there, says he, one, two, three Canoe! one, two, three! By his way of speaking, I concluded there were six; but on enquiry, I found it was but three: Well, Friday, says I, do not be frighted; so I heartned him up as well as I could: However, I saw the poor Fellow was most terribly scar'd; for nothing ran in his Head but that they were come to look for him, and would cut him in Pieces, and eat him; and the poor Fellow trembled so, that I scarce knew what to do with him: I comforted him as well as I could, and told him I was in as much Danger as he, and that they would eat me as well as him; but, says I, Friday, we must resolve to fight them; Can you fight, Friday? Me shoot, says he, but there come many great Number. No matter for that, said I again, our Guns will fright them that we do not kill; so I ask'd him, Whether if I resolv'd to defend him, he would defend me, and stand by me, and do just as I bid him? He said, Me die, when you bid die, Master; so I went and fetch'd a good Dram of Rum, and gave him; for I had been so good a Husband of my Rum, that had a great deal left: When he had drank it, I made him take the two Fowling-Pieces, which we always carry'd, and load them with large Swan-Shot, as big as small Pistol Bullets; then I took four Muskets, and loaded them with two Slugs, and five small Bullets each; and my two Pistols I loaded with a Brace of Bullets each; I hung my great Sword as usual, naked by my Side, and gave Friday his Hatchet.
When I had thus prepar'd my self, I took my Perspective-Glass, and went up to the Side of the Hill, to see what I could discover; and I found quickly, by my Glass, that there were one and twenty Savages, three Prisoners, and three Canoes; and that their whole Business seem'd to be the triumphant Banquet upon these three humane Bodies, (a barbarous Feast indeed) but nothing more than as I had observ'd was usual with them.
I observ'd also, that they were landed not where they had done, when Friday made his Escape; but nearer to my Creek, where the Shore was low, and where a thick Wood came close almost down to the Sea: This, with the Abhorrence of the inhumane Errand these Wretches came about, fill'd me with such Indignation, that I came down again to Friday, and told him, I was resolv'd to go down to them, and kill them all; and ask'd him, If he would stand by me? He was now gotten over his Fright, and his Spirits being a little rais'd, with the Dram I had given him, he was Cry chearful, and told me, as before, he would die, when I bid die.
In this Fit of Fury, I took first and divided the Arms which I had charg'd, as before, between us; I gave Friday one Pistol to stick in his Girdle, and three Guns upon his Shoulder; and I took one Pistol, and the other three my self; and in this Posture we march'd out: I took a small Bottle of Rum in my Pocket, and gave Friday a large Bag, with more Powder and Bullet; and as to Orders, I charg'd him to keep close behind me, and not to stir, or shoot, or do any Thing, till I bid him; and in the mean Time, not to speak a Word: In this Posture I fetch'd a Compass to my Right-Hand, of near a Mile, as well to get over the Creek, as to get into the Wood; so that I might come within shoot of them, before I should be discover'd, which I had seen by my Glass, it was easy to do.
While I was making this March, my former Thoughts returning, I began to abate my Resolution; I do not mean, that I entertain'd any Fear of their Number; for as they were naked, unarm'd Wretches, 'tis certain I was superior to them; nay, though I had been alone; but it occurr'd to my Thoughts, What Call? What Occasion? much less, What Necessity I was in to go and dip my Hands in Blood, to attack People, who had neither done, or intended me any Wrong? Who as to me were innocent, and whose barbarous Customs were their own Disaster, being in them a Token indeed of God's having left them, with the other Nations of that Part of the World, to such Stupidity, and to such inhumane Courses; but did not call me to take upon me to be a Judge of their Actions, much less an Executioner of his Justice; that whenever he thought fit, he would take the Cause into his own Hands, and by national Vengeance punish them as a People, for national Crimes; but that in the mean time, it was none of my Business; that it was true, Friday might justify it, because he was a declar'd Enemy, and in a State of War with those very particular People; and it was lawful for him to attack them; but I could not say she same with respect to me: These Things were so warmly press'd upon my Thoughts, all the way as I went, that I resolv'd I would only go and place my self near them, that I might observe their barbarous Feast, and that I would act then as God should direct; but that unless something offer'd that was more a Call to me than yet I knew of, I would not meddle with them.
With this Resolution I enter'd the Wood, and with all possible Waryness and Silence, Friday following close at my Heels, I march'd till I came to the Skirt of the Wood, on the Side which was next to them; only that one Corner of the Wood lay between me and them; here I call'd softly to Friday, and shewing him a great Tree, which was just at the Corner of the Wood, I bad him go to the Tree, and bring me Word if he could see there plainly what they were doing; he did so, and came immediately back to me, and told me they might be plainly view'd there; that they were all about their Fire, eating the Flesh of one of their Prisoners; and that another lay bound upon the Sand, a little from them, which be said they would kill next, and which fir'd all the very Soul within me; he told me it was not one of their Nation; but one of the bearded Men, who he had told me of, that came to their Country in the Boat: I was fill'd with Horror at the very naming the white-bearded Man, and going to the Tree, I saw plainly by my Glass, a white Man who lay upon the Beach of the Sea, with his Hands and his Feet ty'd, with Flags, or Things like Rushes; and that he was an European, and had Cloaths on.
There was another Tree, and a little Thicket beyond it, about fifty Yards nearer to them than the Place where I was, which by going a little way about, I saw I might come at undiscover'd, and that then I should be within half Shot of them; so I with-held my Passion, though I was indeed enrag'd to the highest Degree, and going back about twenty Paces, I got behind some Bushes, which held all the way, till I came to the other Tree; and then I came to a little rising Ground, which gave me a full View of them, at the Distance of about eighty Yards.