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bread were the only end of a wearifome life, and a wearifome life the only occafion of daily bread.
This put me in mind of the life I lived in my kingdom, the island; where I fuffered no more corn to grow, because I did not want it; and bred no more goats, because I had no more ufe for them: where the money lay in the drawer till it grew mildewed, and had fcarce the favour to be looked upon in 20 years.
All these things, had I improved them as I ought to have done, and as reafon and religion had dictated to me, would have taught me to fearch farther than human enjoyments for a full felicity, and that there was fomething which certainly was the reafon and end of life, fuperior to all these things, and which was either to be poffeffed, or at leaft hoped for, on this fide the grave.
But my fage counsellor was gone; I was like a fhip without a pilot, that could only run before the wind: my thoughts run all away again into the old affair, my head was quite turned with the whimsies of foreign adventures; and all the pleasing innocent amusements of my farm, and my garden, my cattle, and my family, which before entirely poffeft me, were nothing to me, had no relish, and were like mufic to one that has no ear, or food to one that has no taste: In a word, I refolved to leave off houfe-keeping, lett my farm, and return to London; and in a few months after I did fo.
When I came to London, I was ftill as uneafy as before; I had no relish to the place, no employment in it, nothing to do but to faunter about like an idle person, of whom it may be faid, he is perfectly useless in GoD's creation and it is not one
farthing matter to the reft of his kind, whether he be dead or alive. This alfo was the thing which of all circumstances of life was the most my averfion, who had been all my days used to an active life; and I would often fay to myself, Aftate of idleness is the very dregs of life; and indeed I thought I was much more fuitably employed, when I was 26 days making me a deal board.
It was now the beginning of the year 1693, when my nephew, whom as I have obferved before I had brought up to the fea, and had made him commander of a fhip, was come home from a fhort voyage to Bilboa, being the firft he had made; he came to me, and told me, that fome merchants of his acquaintance had been propofing to him to go a voyage for them to the East Indies and to China, as private traders: and now uncle, fays he, if you will go to fea with me, I'll engage to land you upon your old habitation in the island, for we are to touch at the Brafils.
Nothing can be a greater demonftration of a future ftate, and of the existence of an invisible world, than the concurrence of fecond caufes with the ideas of things which we form in our minds, perfectly referved, and not communicated to any in the world.
My nephew knew nothing how far my diftemper of wandering was returned upon me, and I knew nothing of what he had in his thoughts to fay, when that very morning before he came to me I had, in a great deal of confufion of thought, and revolving every part of my circumftances in my mind, come to this refolution, viz. That I would go to Lisbon, and confult with my oid fea-captain; and fo, if it was rational
rational and practicable, I would go and fee the inland again, and fee what was become of my people there. I had pleafed myself alfo with the thoughts of peopling the place, and carrying inhabitants from hence, getting a patent for the poffeffion, and I know not what; when, in the middle of all this, in comes my nephew, as I have faid, with his project of carrying me thither, in his way to the East Indies.
I paused a while at his words, and looking steadily at him, What Devil, said I, fent you of this unlucky errand? My nephew ftartled, as if he had been frighted at firft; but perceiving I was not much difpleased with the propofal, he recovered himself. I hope it may not be an unlucky propofal, Sir, fays he; I dare fay you would be pleased to fee your new colony there, where you once reigned with more felicity than most of your brother monarchs in the world.
In a word, the fcheme hit fo exactly with my temper, that is to fay, with the prepoffeffion I was under, and of which I have faid fo much, that I told him, in few words, if he agreed with the merchants, I would go with him: but I told him, I would not promise to go any farther than my own island. Why Sir, fays he, you don't want to be left there again, I hope? Why, faid I, can you not take me up again in your return? he told me, it could not be poffible that the merchants would allow him to come that way with a loaden fhip of fuch value, it being a month's fail out of his way, and might be three or four: Befides, Sir, if I fhould miscarry, faid he, and not return at all, then you would be just reduced to the condition you were in before.
This was very rational; but we both found out a remedy for it, which was to carry a framed floop on board the fhip, which, being taken in pieces and shipped on board the fhip, might, by the help of fome carpenters, who we agreed to carry with us, be fet up again in the island, and finished, fit to go to fea in a few days.
I was not long refolving; for indeed the importu nities of my nephew joined in fo effectually with my inclination, that nothing could oppofe me: on the other hand, my wife being dead, I had nobody concerned themfelves fo much for me, as to perfuade me one way or other, except my ancient good friend the widow, who carnefily ftruggled with me to confider my years, my eafy circumftances, and the needlefs hazard of a long voyage; and, above all, my young children: but it was all to no purpofe; I had an irrefiftible defire to the voyage; and I told her I thought there was fomething fo uncommon in the impreffions I had upon my mind for the voyage, that it would be a kind of refifting Providence, if I fhould attempt to stay at home; after which fhe ceafed her expoftulations, and joined with me, not only in making provision for my voyage, but alfo in fettling my family affairs in my abfence, and providing for the education of my children.
In order to this, I made my will, and fettled the eftate I had in fuch a manner for my children, and placed in fuch hands, that I was perfectly eafy and fatisfied they would have juftice done them, whatever might befal me; and for their education, I left it wholly to my widow, with a fufficient maintenence to herself for her care: all which fhe richly deferved;
for no mother could have taken more care in their education, or understood it better; and as fhe lived till I came home, I alfo lived to thank her for it.
My nephew was ready to fail about the beginning of January 1694-5, and I with my man Friday went on board in the Downs the 8th, having befides that floop which I mentioned above, a very confiderable cargo of all kinds of neceffary things for my colony, which, if I did not find in good condition, I refolved to leave fo.
First, I carried with me fome fervants, whom I purposed to place there, as inhabitants, or at least to set on work there upon my own account, while I ftayed, and either to leave them there, or carry them forward, as they fhould appear willing; particularly, I carried two carpenters, a fmith, and a very handy ingenious fellow who was a cooper by trade, but was also a general mechanick; for he was dextrous at making wheels, and hand-mills to grind corn, was a good turner, and a good pot maker; he also made any thing that was proper to make of earth, or of wood; in a word, we called him our Jack of all trades.
With these I carried a taylor, who had offered himself to go paffenger to the East Indies with my nephew, but afterwards confented to stay on our new plantation, and proved a moft neceffary handy fellow as could be desired, in many other bufineffes besides that of this trade; for, as I obferved formerly, neceffity arms us for all employments.
My cargo, as near as I can recollect, for I have not kept an account of the particulars, confifted of a fufficient quantity of linen, and fome thin English ftuffs