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name of Alexander Selkirk, who was a native of Sago in Scotland. This man did something to displease the captain, and he threatered to leave him on the island. Selkirk at first, thought he should be willing to stay, but he changed his mind when he saw his companions about to depart. He then begged the captain to let him go on board the vessel, but this was refused, and the ship sailed away, leaving poor Selkirk alone on the island.
At first, he was overwhelmed with grief. He was alone, on an island in the midst of the ocean. He was far away from his home, far from his country, with no friend, no human being to speak to. He sat down upon the ground, and wept like a child.
For a long time, he gave himself up to despondency. When night came, he had no shelter, and the feeling of desolation pressed still more heavily upon his heart. He lay down
Why was he left upon the island of Juan Fernandez? In what year was it that he was left there? Will you tell the story of Selkirk while he was upon the island Juan Fernandez:
in the open air, but he could not sleep. He could see nothing around him but the gloomy forests, he could hear nothing but the moan of the sea, and the bleating of the wild goats upon the hills. No cheerful lights glimmered from any human habitation, no human voice mingled with the sounds that met his ear. All was desolate and wild, and assured him that he was indeed alone.
After spending a restless night, the morning came and Selkirk now felt it necessary to set about obtaining some food. The captain had left him his clothes, a bed, some tobacco, a gun, a little powder, and some bullets; beside these, he had also a hatchet, a kettle, and a knife.
He now took his gun, and went in pursuit of one of the wild goats. These animals were very plentiful, but they fled before him. He was soon able, however, to shoot one of them.
This he dressed, and cooked a part of it for breakfast.
He remained several days in a state of extreme melancholy ; but this gradually wore away, and he began to build himself a hut. He cut down several trees, the trunks of which he set upright in the ground, and thus formed a circular wall for his building. He then procured some long grass, of which he made a tight roof. The inside of the hut he lined with goat skins.
He was occupied a considerable time in constructing this little house ; but at length it was finished, and he found himself very comfortable in it. While he had been building it, his melancholy gradually diminished, and his sense of solitude wore away by degrees. He found no difficulty in procuring an abundant supply of food, and he obtained a plenty of clear fresh water from the springs. He had no bread, and no salt; and these things he missed very much. But he was soon accustomed to his condition, and at length he became quite contented and happy.
Selkirk's Story continued. Our adventurer had been so much amused with the building of his hut, that he determined to construct another. This was made nearly in the same fashion as the first. When the new hut was finished, he used it for cooking his victuals in, and some other purposes. In the other he slept ; and as he had a bible and some other books, he spent a good deal of his time in reading. He also frequently fell upon his knees, and prayed to that Being who was now his only friend and protector.
But at length, a new and serious difficulty presented itself. His stock of powder was entirely exhausted. His gun, therefore, became useless, and he could no longer rely upon it for killing the goats, which constituted his chief food. What was he to do in this emergency ? He knew of no other resource than to attempt to catch the goats by chasing them. But these little creatures are exceedingly fleet of foot; among the rocks and inountains they will easily escape from the swiftest dog. How then could our sailor hope to succeed, in an attempt to catch them by running after them.
But he thought of no other plan, and so he went forth in pursuit of the goats. He soon came in sight of some of them on the hills, but they skipped from rock to rock, and easily kept out of his way. After a long and fruitless chase he returned to his hut, weary and disappointed. The next day he made another effort, but with no better success. For several days all his attempts failed. The nimble goats seemed rather to fly than run. Often he came very near to them, but as he reached forth his hand to seize them, they bounded beyond his reach.
But, at length, grown skilful, and alert by practice, he succeeded in taking one of these animals; and from that time, he had no great