Historical Children's Literature Collection

Robinson Crusoe [unknown] [1840]

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I am the son of a merchant, and was born at York, ins
1632, and baptized Robinson. When I was about nineteen,
meeting with one of my schoolfellows at Hull, who was
master of a ship, he promised me a free passage to London,
where I met with the master of a vessel going to Guinea,
who engaged me. The captain told me I should ha^
liberty to carry with me what merchandise I should thinJL
fit to trade with. In the course of the voyage I became
both a sailor and a merchant, and managed my little stock
so well, that I brought over with me five lbs. nine oz. of
gold dust, which sold in London for near £200 sterling,
Soon after the captain died.    I resolved to go a voyage with
ills mate, who had got the command of a ship. As we were
sailing towards the Canary Islands, we were chased by a
Salee rover, she had eighteen guns, and we but twelve.
About three in the afternoon we engaged, and several were
killed on both sides; at length, overpowered by numbers,
we were compelled to submit, and were carried into Salee.
The mariners were sent to be sold; but the pirate captain,
taking a particular liking to me, kept me for his own slave.
I managed to escape from him, and got on board a Portugese vessel, which landed me at the Bay of All Saints.
I there engaged with a planter, in whose service I continued till I purchased a plantation, and, by industry, made
very considerable improvements, and began to thrive.
Wealth now began to flow in upon me. I lived very
happily some years in the Brazils, and learnt the language;
several of the most eminent merchants of St. Salvadore, to
whom I recited the circumstances of my two voyages to
Guinea, and the immense profits made from trading in those
:parte, declared, if I would go as their supercargo, I should
share equally with them in the profit. I consented to this
proposal, ©n condition they would manage my plantation in
my absence. A ship being properly fitted out, I sailed Sept*
1, 1659, steering northward. In a few days we were overtaken by a terrible tempest. In this distress, one of our
men, cried out, ' Land, land!' That very moment our ship
struck upon sand, and we expected we should be immediately lost. Hauling out the long boat, eleven of us got
on board of her, the tempest was so violent that the boat
could not live.    In about two leagues a wave astern overset
the boat. During the time I was struggling in the water,,
all my companions were lost; the wave abatgd its force^
and in retiring had thrown me on shore. I got on my feet^
lest another wave should carry me back; and though I made
the utmost expedition I was unable. Another came, which
threw me with such force against a rock as made me senseless. Keeping fast hold of the rock, enabled me to get on
shore. Next day, it being calm weather, necessity impelled
me to risk all hazards to get on board the ship.     1 found
 ■all the provisions were in good condition, and nothing
wanting but a boat to convey them on shore. I constructed
a raft, and laid all the boards I could find on it, then lowered down three  chests,  and filled them with provisions,
orking tools, firearms, powder, and bullets, and I landed
y effects very safely.
I made a little tent, and fortified it securely against any
'•tempt from man or beast; then charging my firearms, I
«ud down and slept as comfortably as ever I had done at
ome.    Eleven days had elapsed since I had been on this
island, and a storm arising, I perceived in the morning that
the ship wa#lost.
Considering myself now as king of the island, I every day
took out my gun, and killed whatever appeared to me to he
ratable. Fearing I might lose my reckoning, or forget the
Sabbath, being in want of pen, ink, and paper, I carved on
a post, in large letters, which I set up in form of a cross,
on the identical spot where I landed,—? I came on shore,
September  30th,   1650.'    On each succeeding day I cut a
notch on this post. And that for Sundays twice the length
of the others, and the notch for the first day of the month
twice as long as the notch for Sundays. Thus I kept my
account of time. There were a dog and two cats on board
the ship, which I made joint tenants with me. A whole
vear elapsed before I had completed my habitation.
Some land which lay behind my castle, appeared proper
*br the purpose of tilling. I hedged it in to secure it from
the vermin ; and was rewarded by an ample increase, which
not only enabled me to make my bread, but from its prospect
of continuance, encouraged me to eat without dread of future
want. I supplied my want of clothes by the help of goatskins.
Early in the morning of the 23rd of April, I discovered
five canoes on shore on my side of the island. Arming myself, I went to the top of my prospect-hill, from whence I
observed about thirty savages dragging two unhappy men
on shore, one of whom they knocked down, and after
shockingly mangling him devoured him.
 The other, expecting the same fate, on a sudden ran, and
made towards a small creek. I put myself between the
pursuers and their prey. The first of his pursuers I knocked
down, and at the other I let fly and killed him. I made
signs to him to come to me, which he obeyed, throwing
himself at my feet, and putting one of my feet upon his
head, I took him to my cave, and permitted him to lie down
on some straw.
Next morning I took him out with me, and called him
Friday,  in honour of the day I effected his deliverance^
Friday soon acquired English enough to be very conversable
Friday one morning returned in the utmost fright, exclaiming, " 0 master, master, bad news, four canoes upon
coast, come to look for poor Friday, kill you as well as me."
There was no time to be lost. We loaded our arms, and
put ourselves in the best posture of defence. I mounted a
hill, and perceived there were nineteen savages, and three
prisoners, who, from the manner in which they were treated,
seemed destined to be devoured.     Amongst the prisoners
was a white man; I determined to effect his rescue or perish
in the attempt. We approached them unobserved, and took
aim so well, that we killed four, and wounded two or three
more. They fled with the utmost precipitation. We
immediately unbound the victim, and helped him up, but
he could neither stand or speak. I ordered Friday to speak
to him in his own language, and assure him of our friendship. He did so; and now, reader, judge, if you can, with
what emotions the soul of poor Friday must  have  been
agitated, when he discovered that the object of his care was
Jbis own father.
I now renewed my intention of taking a voyage to the
the continent. Friday's father assured me that I should
meet with good treatment from the natives; and the Spaniard whom I had rescued, offered to go over with him
beforehand to settle matters for my reception. I therefore
despatched my two ambassadors.
Friday one day ran hastily to me exclaiming,  *' They are
come,   they are  come!"    I perceived at  the distance of
 ----- ™
about a league and a half, a boat standing in for shore.
By the help of my glass, I soon discovered they were not
my ambassadors, but conjectured they belonged to a ship
anchored at some distance, which appeared to be English
built. Four men leaped on shore, bringing two with the^
who appeared to be prisoners. Waiting, therefore, till 1
judged the sailors were taking their repose, I approached
the two unhappy men; one of them said. " I was masterof
the ship which lies yonder at anchor: my men mutinied,
and we think it a favour that they spared our lives,  and
put that passenger and myself on shore, though if the villains could be secured, we are well assured that the rest
would return to their duty." We resolved on an immediate
attack. The two men fired, and fortunately killed the
ringleader, and wounded another; the rest cried for quarter.
We resolved to leave them in possession of the island, and
that I should return with the captain to England. Taking
with me poor Friday, &c. We landed in England, June 11,
the year following, having been absent thirty-five years.
1 —The History of Cinderella.
2—The History of Tom Thumb.
3—Hare and many Friends.
4—Entertaining Views.
5—Robinson Crusoe.
6—Jack the Giant Killer.
7—Little Eed Riding Hood.
8—Scenes from Nature.
9—Dame Trot.
10—Mother Hubbard.
11—Capitals of Europe.
12—The House that Jack built.
13—Death & Burial of Cock Robin,
14—Cock Robin and Jenny Wren,
15—Old Man and his Ass.
16—Peter Brown.
Yorkshire J. S. Publishing & Stationery Co., Limited.


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