Robinson Crusoe HTML version

A Cave Retreat
WHILE this was doing, I was not altogether careless of my other affairs; for I had a great
concern upon me for my little herd of goats: they were not only a ready supply to me on
every occasion, and began to be sufficient for me, without the expense of powder and
shot, but also without the fatigue of hunting after the wild ones; and I was loath to lose
the advantage of them, and to have them all to nurse up over again.
For this purpose, after long consideration, I could think of but two ways to preserve them:
one was, to find another convenient place to dig a cave underground, and to drive them
into it every night; and the other was to enclose two or three little bits of land, remote
from one another, and as much concealed as I could, where I might keep about half-a-
dozen young goats in each place; so that if any disaster happened to the flock in general, I
might be able to raise them again with little trouble and time: and this though it would
require a good deal of time and labour, I thought was the most rational design.
Accordingly, I spent some time to find out the most retired parts of the island; and I
pitched upon one, which was as private, indeed, as my heart could wish: it was a little
damp piece of ground in the middle of the hollow and thick woods, where, as is observed,
I almost lost myself once before, endeavouring to come back that way from the eastern
part of the island. Here I found a clear piece of land, near three acres, so surrounded with
woods that it was almost an enclosure by nature; at least, it did not want near so much
labour to make it so as the other piece of ground I had worked so hard at.
I immediately went to work with this piece of ground; and in less than a month's time I
had so fenced it round that my flock, or herd, call it which you please, which were not so
wild now as at first they might be supposed to be, were well enough secured in it: so,
without any further delay, I removed ten young she-goats and two he-goats to this piece,
and when they were there I continued to perfect the fence till I had made it as secure as
the other; which, however, I did at more leisure, and it took me up more time by a great
deal. All this labour I was at the expense of, purely from my apprehensions on account of
the print of a man's foot; for as yet I had never seen any human creature come near the
island; and I had now lived two years under this uneasiness, which, indeed, made my life
much less comfortable than it was before, as may be well imagined by any who know
what it is to live in the constant snare of the fear of man. And this I must observe, with
grief, too, that the discomposure of my mind had great impression also upon the religious
part of my thoughts; for the dread and terror of falling into the hands of savages and
cannibals lay so upon my spirits, that I seldom found myself in a due temper for
application to my Maker; at least, not with the sedate calmness and resignation of soul
which I was wont to do: I rather prayed to God as under great affliction and pressure of
mind, surrounded with danger, and in expectation every night of being murdered and
devoured before morning; and I must testify, from my experience, that a temper of peace,
thankfulness, love, and affection, is much the more proper frame for prayer than that of
terror and discomposure: and that under the dread of mischief impending, a man is no
more fit for a comforting performance of the duty of praying to God than he is for a