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became so hard, that he ran everywhere without difficulty; and it was sometime before he could wear shoes after we found him; for, not being used to any so long, his feet swelled, when he came first to wear them again.
"After he had conquered his melancholy, he diverted himself sometimes with cutting his name on the trees, and the time of his being left, and continuance there. He was at first much pestered with cats and rats, that bred in great numbers, from some of each species which had got ashore from ships that put in there to wood and water. The rats gnawed his feet and clothes whilst asleep, which obliged him to cherish the cats with his goats' flesh, by which many of them became so tame, that they would lie about him in hundreds, and soon delivered him from the rats. He likewise tamed some kids; and, to divert himself, would now and then sing and dance with them and his cats: So that by the favour of Providence, and vigour of his youth, being now but thirty years old, he came, at last, to conquer all the inconveniences of his solitude, and to be very easy.
"When his clothes were worn out, he made himself a coat and a cap of goat-skins, which he stitched together with little thongs of the same, that he cut with his knife. He had no other needle but a nail; and when his knife was worn to the back, he made others, as well as he could, of some iron hoops that were left ashore, which he beat thin, and ground upon stones. Having some linen-cloth by him, he sewed him some shirts with a nail, and stitched them with the worsted of his old stockings, which he pulled out on purpose. He had his last shirt on when we found him in the island.
"At his first coming on board us, he had so much forgot his language, for want of use, that we could scarce understand him; for he seemed to speak his words by halves. We offered him a dram; but he would not touch it, having drank nothing but water since his being there; and it was some time before he could relish our victuals. He could give us an account of no other product of the island than what we have mentioned, except some black plumbs, which are very good, but hard to come at; the trees which bear them growing on high mountains and rocks. Pimentotrees are plenty here; and we saw some of sixty feet high, and about two yards thick; and cotton-trees higher, and near four fathoms round in the stock. The climate is so good, that the trees and grass are verdant all the year round. The winter lasts no longer than June and July, and is not then severe, there being
only a small frost, and a little hail; but sometimes great rains. The heat of the summer is equally moderate; and there is not much thunder, or tempestuous weather of any sort. He saw no venomous or savage creature on the island; nor any sort of beasts but goats, the first of which had been put ashore here, on purpose for a breed, by Juan Fernandez, a Spaniard, who settled there with some families, till the continent of Chili began to submit to the Spaniards; which, being more profitable, tempted them to quit this island, capable, however, of maintaining a good number of people, and being made so strong, that they could not be easily dislodged from thence."
We are indebted for the following additional particulars, respecting the life and fate of this singular character, to the research of the late A. Gibson Hunter, Esq. of Balskelly, in Scotland; who, we believe, was in possession of his will, and some other curious relics. Through this gentleman we learn, that Selkirk was born at Largo in Fife, in the year 1676, where he possessed some trifling landed property. When young, he manifested a violent and turbulent disposition, which was not probably improved during his bucaniering trips, but received a sudden and permanent check by his solitary confinement on this desolate island. He went mate with Captain Stradling, in the Cinque-ports, on a trading voyage round the world, in 1704. In the course of which, a difference arising betwixt him and his captain, the causes of which must now remain for ever unexplained, Selkirk, with all the hardihood of the seaman's character, desired to be landed on the island of Fernandez. Here he remained in perfect solitude, existing, as he has described himself, until discovered by Captain Rogers. Selkirk died on board a king's ship, the Weymouth, of which he was mate, in 1723; leaving his effects, by will, to sundry "loving female friends," with whom he had contracted intimacies in the course of his peregrinations. His chest, his gun, and his drinking cup, the last made of a cocoa nut shell, are, or were till lately, the property of his descendants at Largo.1
1 [Mr Hunter's communication, here quoted from, appeared in the Scots Magazine, September 1805. It contains a copy of the power of attorney made out by Alexander Selkirk, his will, and a fac-simile of his signature.]
A true Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs Veal, the next day after her death, to one Mrs Bargrave, at Canterbury, the eighth of September, 1705, which Apparition recommends the perusal of Drelincourt's Book of Consolations against the fears of Death.
THE PREFACE.-This relation is matter of fact, and attended with such circumstances as may induce any reasonable man to believe it. It was sent by a gentleman, a Justice of Peace at Maidstone, in Kent, and a very intelligent person, to his friend in London, as it is here worded; which discourse is attested by a very sober and understanding gentlewoman, a kinswoman of the said gentleman's, who lives in Canterbury, within a few doors of the house in which the within-named Mrs Bargrave lives; who believes his kinswoman to be of so discerning a spirit as not to be put upon by any fallacy; and who positively assured him that the whole matter, as it is related and laid down, is really true, and what she herself had in the same words, (as near as may be,) from Mrs Bargrave's own mouth, who she knows had no reason to invent and publish such a story, or any design to forge and tell a lie; being a woman of much honesty and virtue, and her whole life a course as it were of piety. The use which we ought to make of it is, to consider that there is a life to come after this, and a just God who will retribute to every one according to the deeds done in the body; and therefore to reflect upon our past course of life we have led in the world; that our time is short and uncertain; and that, if we would escape the punishment of the ungodly, and receive the reward of the righteous, which is the laying hold of eternal life, we ought, for the time to come, to return to God by a speedy repentance, ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well, to seek after God early, if haply he may be found of us, and lead such lives for the future, as may be wellpleasing in his sight.
A RELATION OF THE APPARITION OF MRS VEAL.
This thing is so rare in all its circumstances, and on so good authority, that my reading and conversation has not given me
anything like it. It is fit to gratify the most ingenious and serious enquirer. Mrs Bargrave is the person to whom Mrs Veal appeared after her death; she is my intimate friend, and I can avouch for her reputation, for these last fifteen or sixteen years, on my own knowledge; and I can confirm the good character she had from her youth to the time of my acquaintance. Though since this relation, she is calumniated by some people that are friends to the brother of Mrs Veal, who appeared; who think the relation of this appearance to be a reflection, and endeavour what they can to blast Mrs Bargrave's reputation, and to laugh the story out of countenance. But by the circumstances thereof, and the cheerful disposition of Mrs Bargrave, notwithstanding the ill usage of a very wicked husband, there is not yet the least sign of dejection in her face; nor did I ever hear her let fall a desponding or murmuring expression; nay, not when actually under her husband's barbarity, which I have been a witness to, and several other persons of undoubted reputation.
Now, you must know Mrs Veal was a maiden gentlewoman of about thirty years of age, and for some years last past had been troubled with fits, which were perceived coming on her by her going off from her discourse very abruptly to some impertinence. She was maintained by an only brother, and kept his house in Dover. She was a very pious woman, and her brother a very sober man to all appearance; but now he does all he can to null and quash the story. Mrs Veal was intimately acquainted with Mrs Bargrave from her childhood. Mrs Veal's circumstances were then mean; her father did not take care of his children as he ought, so that they were exposed to hardships. And Mrs Bargrave in those days had as unkind a father, though she wanted neither for food nor clothing; while Mrs Veal wanted for both; insomuch that she would often say, "Mrs Bargrave, you are not only the best, but the only, friend I have in the world; and no circumstance of life shall ever dissolve my friendship." They would often condole each other's adverse fortunes, and read together Drelincourt upon Death, and other good books; and so, like two Christian friends, they comforted each other under their
Some time after, Mr Veal's friends got him a place in the Customhouse at Dover, which occasioned Mrs Veal, by little and little, to fall off from her intimacy with Mrs Bargrave, though there was never any such thing as a quarrel; but an indifferency came on by degrees, till at last Mrs Bargrave had not seen her in two years and a half, though above a twelvemonth of the time
Mrs Bargrave hath been absent from Dover, and this last half year, has been in Canterbury about two months of the time, dwelling in a house of her own.
In this house, on the eighth of September, one thousand seven hundred and five, she was sitting alone in the forenoon, thinking over her unfortunate life, and arguing herself into a due resignation to Providence, though her condition seemed hard: And," said she, "I have been provided for hitherto, and doubt. not. but I shall be still; and am well satisfied that my afflictions shall end when it is most fit for me." And then took up her sewing work, which she had no sooner done but she hears a knocking at the door; she went to see who was there, and this proved to be Mrs Veal, her old friend, who was in a riding habit: At that moment of time, the clock struck twelve at noon.
"Madam," says Mrs Bargrave, "I am surprised to see you, you have been so long a stranger;" but told her she was glad to see her, and offered to salute her, which Mrs Veal complied with, till their lips almost touched, and then Mrs Veal drew her hand across her own eyes, and said, "I am not very well," and 80 waved it. She told Mrs Bargrave she was going a journey, and had a great mind to see her first. "But," says Mrs Bargrave, "how can you take a journey alone? I am amazed at it, because I know you have a fond brother."-" Oh," says Mrs Veal, "I gave my brother the slip, and came away, because I had so great a desire to see you before I took my journey." So Mrs Bargrave went in with her into another room within the first, and Mrs Veal sat her down in an elbow-chair, in which Mrs Bargrave was sitting when she heard Mrs Veal knock. "Then," says Mrs Veal, 66 my dear friend, I am come to renew our old friendship again, and beg your pardon for my breach of it; and if you can forgive me, you are the best of women.". -"Oh," says Mrs Bargrave, "do not mention such a thing; I have not had an uneasy thought about it; I can easily forgive it."- "What did you think of me?" said Mrs Veal. Says Mrs Bargrave, "I thought you were like the rest of the world, and that prosperity had made you forget yourself and me." Then Mrs Veal reminded Mrs Bargrave of the many friendly offices she did her in former days, and much of the conversation they had with each other in the times of their adversity; what books they read, and what comfort in particular they received from Drelincourt's Book of Death, which was the best, she said, on the subject ever wrote. She also mentioned Doctor Sherlock, and two Dutch books, which were translated, wrote upon death, and several others. But Dre