and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I
had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before
me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I brought it
to be thin as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is
true, by this method I could make but one board out of a whole
tree; but this I had no remedy for but patience, any more than I
had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took me up
to make a plank or board: but my time or labour was little worth,
and so it was as well employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the
first place; and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that
I brought on my raft from the ship. But when I had wrought out
some boards as above, I made large shelves, of the breadth of a
foot and a half, one over another all along one side of my cave, to
lay all my tools, nails and ironwork on; and, in a word, to
separate everything at large into their places, that I might come
easily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang
my guns and all things that would hang up; so that, had my cave
been to be seen, it looked like a general magazine of all necessary
things; and had everything so ready at my hand, that it was a great
pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and especially to
find my stock of all necessaries so great.
And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day's
employment; for, indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, and not
only hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of mind; and
my journal would have been full of many dull things; for example, I
must have said thus: "30TH. - After I had got to shore, and escaped
drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance,
having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which
had got into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran
about the shore wringing my hands and beating my head and face,
exclaiming at my misery, and crying out, 'I was undone, undone!'
till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to
repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and
got all that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up
to the top of a little mountain and looking out to sea, in hopes of
seeing a ship; then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail, please
myself with the hopes of it, and then after looking steadily, till
I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a
child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having
settled my household staff and habitation, made me a table and a
chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to keep my
journal; of which I shall here give you the copy (though in it will
be told all these particulars over again) as long as it lasted; for
having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.
CHAPTER V - BUILDS A HOUSE - THE JOURNAL
SEPTEMBER 30, 1659. - I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being
shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on
this dismal, unfortunate island, which I called "The Island of
Despair"; all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and
myself almost dead.
All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal
circumstances I was brought to - viz. I had neither food, house,
clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and in despair of any relief,
saw nothing but death before me - either that I should be devoured
by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want
of food. At the approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of
wild creatures; but slept soundly, though it rained all night.
OCTOBER 1. - In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship
had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again much
nearer the island; which, as it was some comfort, on one hand -
for, seeing her set upright, and not broken to pieces, I hoped, if
the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and
necessaries out of her for my relief - so, on the other hand, it
renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who, I imagined, if we
had all stayed on board, might have saved the ship, or, at least,
that they would not have been all drowned as they were; and that,
had the men been saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out
of the ruins of the ship to have carried us to some other part of
the world. I spent great part of this day in perplexing myself on
these things; but at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went
upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day
also it continued raining, though with no wind at all.
FROM THE 1ST OF OCTOBER TO THE 24TH. - All these days entirely
spent in many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship,
which I brought on shore every tide of flood upon rafts. Much rain
also in the days, though with some intervals of fair weather; but
it seems this was the rainy season.
OCT. 20. - I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it;
but, being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I
recovered many of them when the tide was out.
OCT. 25. - It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of
wind; during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing
a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen, except the
wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent this day in
covering and securing the goods which I had saved, that the rain
might not spoil them.
OCT. 26. - I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a
place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from
any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or men. Towards
night, I fixed upon a proper place, under a rock, and marked out a
semicircle for my encampment; which I resolved to strengthen with a
work, wall, or fortification, made of double piles, lined within
with cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying all my
goods to my new habitation, though some part of the time it rained
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gun,
to seek for some food, and discover the country; when I killed a
she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I afterwards killed
also, because it would not feed.
NOVEMBER 1. - I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the
first night; making it as large as I could, with stakes driven in
to swing my hammock upon.
NOV. 2. - I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of
timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence round me,
a little within the place I had marked out for my fortification.
NOV. 3. - I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks,
which were very good food. In the afternoon went to work to make
me a table.
NOV. 4. - This morning I began to order my times of work, of going
out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion - viz. every
morning I walked out with my gun for two or three hours, if it did
not rain; then employed myself to work till about eleven o'clock;
then eat what I had to live on; and from twelve to two I lay down
to sleep, the weather being excessively hot; and then, in the
evening, to work again. The working part of this day and of the
next were wholly employed in making my table, for I was yet but a
very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a complete
natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do any one
NOV. 5. - This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a
wild cat; her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing;
every creature that I killed I took of the skins and preserved
them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of sea-fowls,
which I did not understand; but was surprised, and almost
frightened, with two or three seals, which, while I was gazing at,
not well knowing what they were, got into the sea, and escaped me
for that time.
NOV. 6. - After my morning