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In ihe next place, 1 was at a great loss for candles; so that a* soon as it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, 1 was obliged to go to b«h I remember the lump of bees-wax with which I made candles in my African adventure; but I had none of that n^v; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goa^ "" saved the tallow; and with a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added a \wck of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear, steady light, like a candle. In the middle of all my labors it happened, that, in rummaging my things, I found a little bag; which, as 1 hinted before, had been filled with corn^ for the feeding of poultry; not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship came from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been in the bag Wcis ail devoured with the rats, and 1 saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks of corn out of it, on one side of my fortification, under the rock.
It was a little before the great rain just now mentioned, that 1 threw this stuff away; taking no notice of anf thing, and not so much as remembering that 1 had thrown any thing there; when about a month after, I saw some few stalks of something green, shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen; But 1 was surprised, and perfectly astonished, when, after a little longer time, 1 saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfect green barley, of the same kind as our European, nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my thoughts on this occasion: I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of any thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as intjuiring into f\e end of Providence in these things, or his order in governing, events in the world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a climate which I knew was not proper for corn, and especially as I knew not how it came there, it startled me strangely; and I began to suggest, that God had miraculously caused this grain to grow without any help of seed sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance, on that wild, miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes; and 1 began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature should happen upon my account: and this was the more strange to me, because I saw near it still, all along by the side of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow in Africa, when I was ashore there.
I not onty thought these the pure productions of Providence for my support, but, not doubting that there was more in the
Elace, I went over all that part of the island where I had been efore, searching in every corner, and under every rock, for more of it; but I could not find any. At last it occurred to my thoughts, that I had shook out a bag of chicken's-meat in that place, and then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though 1 ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen a providence, as if it had been miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence, as to me, that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains of corn should remain unspoiled, when the rats had destroyed all the rest, as if it had been dropped from heaven;,as also, that I should throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it any where else, at that time, it would have been burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in their season, which was about the end of June; and, laying up every corn, I resolved to sow them all again; hoping, in time, to have some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread. But it was not till the fourth year that 1 could allow myself the least grain of this corn to eat, and even then, but sparingly, as I shall show afterwards, in its order; for I lost all that 1 sowed the first season, by not observing the proper time; as 1 sowed just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would have done; of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I preserved with the same care; and whose use was of the same kind, or to the same purpose, viz. to make me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up without baking, though I did that also after some time.— But to return to my journal.
I worked excessively hard these three or four months, to get my wall done; and the 14th of April I closed it up; contriving to get into it, not by a door, but over the wall, by a ladder, that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
April 16. I finished the ladder; so I went up with the ladder to the top, and then pulled it up after me, and let it down in the inside: this was a complete inclosure to me; for within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day aftogythis wall was finished, 1 had almost all my labor overthrown.at once, and myself killed: the case was thus :—As 1 was busy in the inside of it, behind rav tent, just at the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed; for, all on a sudden, I found the earth come crumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the .edge of the hill over my head, and two of the posts 1 had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner. 1 was heartily scared; but thought nothing of what really was the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before; and for fear I should be buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe there neither. I got over my wall for fear of the Fieces of the hill which I expected might roll down upon me, had no sooner stepped down upon the firm grouna, than 1 plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake; for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock, which stood about half a mile from me, next the sea, fell down, with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life. I perceived also, that the very sea was put into a violent motion oy it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.
I was so much amazed with the thing itself (having never felt the like, nor discoursed with any one that had), that I was like one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea: but the noise of the falling of the rock awaked me, as it were; and rousing me from the stupefied condition I was in, filled me with horror, and I thought of nothing but the hill falling upon my tent and my household goods, and burying all at once: this sunk my very soul within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and 1 felt no more for some time, I began to take courage; yet 1 had not heart enough to go over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive, but sat still upon the ground, greatly cast down, and disconsolate, not knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least serious religious thought; nothing but the common Lord, have mercy upon me! aid when it was over, that went away too.
While hit thus, 1 found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, as if it wou d rain; and soon after the wind rose by little and little, so th X in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful hurricane: the sea was, all on a sudden, covered with foam and froth; the shore was covered with a breach of the water; the trees were torn up by the roots; and a terrible storm it was. This held about three hours, and then began to abate; and in two hours more it was quite calm, and began to rain very hard. All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and dejected; when, on a sudden, it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequence of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again. With this thought my spirits began to revive; and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in, and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to get into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head. This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole through my new fortification, like a sink, to let the water go out, which would else have drowned my cave. After I hid been in my cave for some time, and found no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be more composed. And now, to support my spirits, which, indeed, wanted it very much, I went to my little store, and took a small sup of rum; which, however, 1 did then, and always, very sparingly, knowing I could have no more when that was gone. It continued raining all that night, and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best do; concluding, that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building me some little hut in an open place, which I might surround with a wall, as I had done nere, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men; for if I staid where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to remove my tent from the place where it now stood, being just under the hanging precipice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent. I spent the two next days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my habitation. The fear of being swallowed alive affected me so, that I never slept in quiet; and yet the apprehension of lying abroad, without any fence, was almost equal to it: but still, when I looked about, and saw how every thing