CHAPTER IV – FIRST WEEKS ON THE ISLAND

And, first, I found that all the ship’s provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose… [PS1] 

There had been some barley and wheat together; but, to my great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. [PS2] 

While I was doing this, I found the tide begin to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on the shore, upon the sand, swim away… [PS3] 

And it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter’s chest, which was, indeed, a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a shipload of gold would have been at that time.  And thus, having found two or three broken oars belonging to the boat – and, besides the tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer; with this cargo I put to sea. [PS4] 

I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests…[PS5] 

All that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest… [PS6] 

I was in an island environed every way with the sea contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work to bring my cargo on shore… [PS7] 

I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft…[PS8] 

I was under some apprehension, during my absence from the land, that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore: but when I came back I found no sign of any visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. [PS9] 

…into this tent I brought everything that I knew would spoil either with rain or sun; [PS10] 

When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within [PS11] 

In a word, I brought away all the sails, first and last; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces… [PS12] 

I found a great hogshead of bread, three large runlets of rum, or spirits, a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour…[PS13] 

But my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the water… [PS14] 

…discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks [PS15] 

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: ‘O drug!’ said I, aloud, ‘what art thou good for…[PS16] 

…in the morning, when I looked out, behold, no more ship was to be seen! [PS17] 

…what kind of dwelling to make – whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth;[PS18] 

1st,      health and fresh water, I just now mentioned;

2ndly, shelter from the heat of the sun;

3rdly,   security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast;

4thly,   a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight,[PS19] 

In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground above five feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six inches from one another.[PS20] 

…placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it or over it[PS21] 

I made a large tent, which to preserve me from the rains that in one part of the year are very violent there, I made double – one smaller tent within, and one larger tent above it; and covered the uppermost with a large tarpaulin, which I had saved among the sails. [PS22] 

Oh, my powder! My very heart sank within me when I thought that, at one blast, all my powder might be destroyed…[PS23] 

I think my powder, which in all was about two hundred- and forty-pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. [PS24] 

The first time I went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in the island [PS25] 

…by the position of their optics, their sight was so directed downward that they did not readily see objects that were above them;[PS26] 

Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn: [PS27] 

I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should end my life[PS28] 

All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.[PS29] 

…to live without my gun…[PS30] 

I set it up on the shore where I first landed – ‘I came on shore here on the 30th September 1659.’[PS31] 

…omitted setting down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several parcels in the captain’s, mate’s, gunner’s and carpenter’s keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments  [PS32] 

I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise. [PS33] 

…my reason began now to master my despondency.  [PS34] 

I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; [PS35] 

and I stated very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:- [PS36] 

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable but there was something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it; [PS43] 

and let this stand as a direction from the experience of the most miserable of all conditions in this world: [PS44] 

that we may always find in it something to comfort ourselves from, and [PS45] 

to set, in the description of good and evil, on the credit side of the account. [PS46] 

But I must observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of goods, [PS47] 

which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place; I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge my cave [PS48] 

And here I must needs observe, that as reason is the substance and origin of the mathematics, [PS49] 

So, by stating and squaring everything by reason, and by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time, master of every mechanic art. [PS50] 

I had no remedy for but patience[PS51] 

And now it was that I began to keep a journal of every day’s employment[PS52] 

then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, [PS53] 

and then after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, [PS54] 

and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly. [PS55] 


 [PS1]Hindsight is 20/20.

Now that Crusoe sees that they all would have been saved if they had stayed on board, he wishes that he had.

Opportunity fleeting – decision difficult

 [PS2]In every find, there is a truth.

In many truths, there is disappointment…

RATS!

 [PS3]In seeking to save oneself…sometimes some of that self must be lost.

 [PS4]From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,

Know, one false step is ne’er retrieved,

    And be with caution bold.

Not all that tempts your wandering eyes

And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;

    Nor all that glisters, gold.

 [PS5]Sometimes fight makes right.

Other times, discretion is the better part of valor.

Often, you have no choice.

 [PS6]Wu Wei…wait for the appropriate time.

 [PS7]When all you have is a surrounding infinite see and a confining deserted island, you fall to work to survive.

 [PS8]When good luck befalls you, don’t stair it in the mouth.

 [PS9]Fear of the unknown can the greatest fear of all.

The feared may not be so fearsome.

Going about one’s business may be a remedy for fear.

Looking the feared in eye may cause it to cower and run away.

 [PS10]Not everything will spoil

Not everything will last

The rain and sun will come for some

Seek shelter for that mass.

 [PS11]Though fears of one

They may subside

Not all the danger lurks

When one is looking or alert

So build a door with locks.

 [PS12]Things for purpose have more than that

So, keep them for that day

When purpose comes for odds and ends

Hoarding sometimes pays.

 [PS13]Outside one’s health there are delights

That’s why we suffer here

So take a swig then take a bite

Revel in slight cheer.

 [PS14]Good luck lasts not forever…

Bag luck takes its place…

But look back in deep water…

For those forlorn pieces of eight.

 [PS15]Steel defeated the savage

So, it was defeat I finds in the drawer

If you are centuries ahead of your henchman

Discover safety within the drawer.

 [PS16]We were poor, so we took food and water

They were rich, so took they jewels

At sea their thirst did urge them

To trade treasure to fellow fools

Fate took most they ‘fore us rich

Before Thai pirates took their best

We survivors roped together

Sinking now to final rest

 [PS17]One choice dear fate allows us

To act before she does

If apathy aboundeth thee

Then thy ship adrift to lee.

 [PS18]A shelter from the elements

Be quick or sound the choice

Sleep the night in comfort

Or fear for life the North

 [PS19]Stay thee healthy drink fresh water

Find shelter from the sun

Secure thyself from beast and man

Have a view when tomorrow come.

 [PS20]A bulwark to nature’s aggression

Must have shape and height and depth

To slow the charge that soon to come

And prevent their climb upon.

 [PS21]Brace for push and pressure

For that be initial take

Of enemies before us

Now hiding in the wait..

 [PS22]One layer might betray thee

Two better but not best

A third to cover over all

Put rains hard to the test.

 [PS23]Precious and yet volatile

Keep safe but separate be

A flash or spark might send all

In piece to shing sea

 [PS24]In full it be jeopardizing

In parcel it be safer

Take the time to put your stock

Away, weigh be it sack or wafer

 [PS25]Getting your goat may be the point

Of another who appears to distract

But finding your goat can be your wish

When roots and berries stack.

 [PS26]Again with the goats

This time hunting…

Intent on their pasture

Goats never look heaven

So be with us

Attacks from above

 [PS27]A house without a heat

Be careful in thy placement

The needs of flame provided

But protect from smoke and spark and spread

 [PS28]Desolation claims not just the land

But one’s soul it do so grasp

Till thy life not worth living

And death a welcome rest

 [PS29]See the foul as designated evil

But mine out the sister good

See what worse might yet offend thee

See what better be understood

 [PS30]One good is gun in hand

When hunting out the land

But those before had none

And yet still they hunt the stnad

 [PS31]Mark thy days in solitude

For rescue come not soon

Have something to count and see

The past on future noon

 [PS32]Tools of technique serve one well

Writing parts the more

Though might weather through the years

One writes then writes no more

 [PS33]A list exact in pen and ink

Is what I spoke of thence

When ink be gone how make thee more

Set about it now and hence

 [PS34]Might anything rule hopelessness?

Try reason first and last

For only you can work the tools

To wreck the wretched past

 [PS35]Comfort comes in segments small

When mind grapples with the matter

All that one can do at now

Is put out what might be worse

 [PS36]Line them up in front of reason

Call forth one by one

Place on each a name and sign

Then pair them with a prince

 [PS37]Being alive and wishing you were dead

Is much worse than being dead

Take heart in every sunset

In light with hope arise

 [PS38]When one decides that he’s unique

To misery so deep

Realize the others lost

Be calmed for one night’s sleep

 [PS39]Take thy sustenance as it is given

Eat alone, enjoy the taste

For time eternal takes the rest

Slow your sour pace

 [PS40]What you have is what you’ve got

Wear it well and long

A day will come when patches fall

And naked taken yon

 [PS41]A world awash with evil

Might crush me like a bug

But here and now I rule in small

I’m safe and soft and snug

 [PS42]Be there no one else for dialogue

Still I have all else about me

Chop and sing and curse the sky

Why mourn? I have what’s necessary.

 [PS43]Conditions miserable demand a mate

To offset thankless times

So negative or positive

Make sour now sublime

 [PS44]At the point of most miserable

Direct thyself away

To parts unknown but better

Above despair thy stay

 [PS45]Find comfort where there is none

Seek shelter in the deluge

Always there in hidden crevasse

Two side and top, a refuge

 [PS46]If life to you is only cost

Review your own accounting

Ledger’s without credit

See debt galore amounting

 [PS47]When wrecked anew you find yourself

Scattered without order

Confusion rules and things pile up

Till there’s no space within border

 [PS48]Order thing, expand if must

But solve the problem quickly

A hoarder’s home beneath the dust

Becomes a cave and sickly

 [PS49]Reason rules the fertile mind

Mathematics becomes the tool

So substance spawns from that no here

Believe not? Then you’re a fool

 [PS50]Bring me each great problem

Give me such great time

Though crude at first and then refined

Confusion seeks design

 [PS51]And there it is, a pause

When stymied he doth sit

Defeated by a quarry

Succeeded by his wit

 [PS52]Journal thy time

Remember the gaps

Though posterity cares not

Record with sap

 [PS53]A distant hope of fancy

In motion and then gone

She raised my hopes then lowered

In brief, quite like a song

 [PS54]Blinded by the light of hope

Fallen by arisen false

Exhausted lie I staring

Alone with suffered loss

 [PS55]Mourn the passing ship of hope

Be a child for just this

Let misery and folly bring you down