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fet fire to the provifions they had laid up, on pur. pofe to diftrefs and ftarve them, things that I had never heard of, and that were yet all of them true in fact: but it was fo warm in my imagination, and fo realized to me, that to the hour I faw them, I could not be perfuaded but that it was or would be true; alfo, how I refented it when the Spaniard complained to me, and how I brought them to juftice, tried them before me, and ordered them all three to be hanged: what there was really in this, fhall be feen in its place: for however I came to form fuch things in my dream, and what fecret converse of fpirits injected it, yet there was, I fay, very much of it true. I own, that this dream had nothing literally and specifically true: but the general part was fo true, the bafe and villainous behaviour of thefe three hardened rogues was fuch, and had been so much worse than all I can defcribe, that the dream had too much fimilitude of the fact, and as I would afterwards have punished them severely; so if I had hanged them all, I had been much in the right, and fhould have been juftifiable both by the laws of GOD and man.
But to return to my ftory. In this kind of temper I had lived fome years; I had no enjoyment of my life, no pleasant hours, no agreeable diverfion but what had fomething or other of this in it, fo that my wife, who faw my mind fo wholly bent upon it, told me very ferioufly one night, that fhe believed there was fome fecret powerful impulse of Providence upon me, which had determined me to go thither again; and that fhe found nothing hindred my going but my being engaged to a wife and children. She told
told me, that it was true fhe could not think of part-
This affectionate behaviour of my wife brought me a little out of the vapours, and I began to confider what I was doing; I corrected my wandering fancy, and began to argue with myself fedately, what bufinefs I had, after threefcore years, and after fuch a life of tedious fufferings and difafters, and closed in fo happy and eafy a manner, I fay, what bufine's had I to rufh into new hazards, and put myfelf upon adventures, fit only for youth and poverty to run into?
With those thoughts, I confidered my new engagement; that I had a wife, one child born, and my wife then great with child of another; that I had all the world could give me, and had no need to feek hazards for gain; that I was declining in years, and ought to think rather of leaving what I had gained, than of feeking to increase it; that as to what my wife had faid, of its being an impulfe from heaven, and that it should be my duty to go, I had no notion of that; so after many of these cogitations, I ftruggled with the power of my imagination, reafoned myself out of it, as I believe people may always do in like cafes, if they will; and, in a word, I conquered it; compofed myself with fuch arguments as occurred to my thoughts, and which my prefent condition furnished me plentifully with; and particularly, as the moft effectual method, I refolved to divert myself with other things, and to engage in fome bufiness that might effectually tie me up from any more excurfions of this kind; for I found the thing return upon me chiefly when I was idle, had nothing to do, or any thing of moment immediately before me.
To this purpose I bought a little farm in the county of Bedford, and refolved to remove myself thither. I had a little convenient house upon it, and the land about it I found was capable of great improvement, and that it was many ways fuited to my inclination, which delighted in cultivating, managing, planting and improving of land; and particularly, being an inland country, I was removed from converfing among fhips, failors, and things relating to the remote part of the world,
In a word, I went down to my farm, fettled my family, bought me ploughs, harrows, a cart, waggon, horses, cows, sheep; and setting seriously to work, became in one half year a meer country gentleman; my thoughts were entirely taken up in managing my fervants, cultivating the ground, enclofing, planting, &c. and I lived, as I thought, the most agreeable life that nature was capable of directing, or that a man always bred to misfortunes was capable of being retreated to.
I farmed upon my own land, I had no rent to pay, was limited by no articles; I could pull up or cut down as I pleased: what I planted was for myfelf, and what I improved, was for my family; and having thus left off the thoughts of wandering, I had not the least discomfort in any part of my life, as to this world. Now I thought indeed, that I enjoyed the middle state of life which my father fo earnestly recommended to me, a kind of heavenly life, fome. thing like what is defcribed by the poet upon the fubject of a country life.
Free from vices, free from care,
But in the middle of all this felicity, one blow from unforeseen Providence unhinged me at once; and not only made a breach upon me, inevitable and incurable, but drove me, by its confequence, upon a deep relapse into the wandering difpofition; which, as I may fay, being born in my very blood, foon recovered its hold of me, and, like the returns of a violent diftemper, came on with an irrefiftible force upon me; fo that nothing could make any more
impreffion upon me. This blow was the lofs of my wife.
It is not my business here to write an elegy upon my wife, to give a character of her particular virtues, and make my court to the fex by the flattery of a funeral fermon. She was, in a few words, the stay of all my affairs, the center of all my enterprizes, the engine that by her prudence reduced me to that happy compass I was in, from the most extravagant and ruinous project that fluttered in my head as above; and did more to guide my rambling genius, than a mother's tears, a father's inftructions, a friend's counfel, or all my own reafoning powers could do. I was happy in liftening to her tears, and in being moved by her entreaties, and to the laft degree defolate and dislocated in the world by the loss of her.
When fhe was gone, the world looked aukwardly round me; I was as much a ftranger in it, in my thoughts, as I was in the Brafils when I went first on fhore there; and as much alone, except as to the affiftance of fervants, as I was in my island. I knew neither what to do, or what not to do. I faw the world bufy round me, one part labouring for bread, and the other part fquandring in vile exceffes or empty pleasures, equally miferable, because the end they propofed ftill fled from them; for the men of pleasure every day furfeited of their vice, and heaped up work for forrow and repentance; and the men of labour spent their strength in daily ftrugglings for breath to maintain the vital ftrength they laboured with, fo living in a daily circulation of forrow, living but to work, and working but to live, as if daily