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the dangers he had undergone. The merchants were so sensible of his want of conduct, that they resolved never to trust him any more with a command."'*
The bad success of Dampier's expedition however, did not prevent the fitting out of another with similar designs against the Spaniards of the South Seas; and about the middle of the year 1708, two vessels, the Duke and the Duchess, the property of Bristol merchants, set sail for the Spanish main, having in all three hundred and thirty-three men on board. The Duke, a vessel of thirty guns, was commanded by Captain Woodes Rogers, a very able and prudent man; the Duchess, of twenty-six guns, by Captain Stephen Courtney. Poor Dampier, who could not be intrusted with the command, and whose poverty obliged him to accept some occupation of the same kind as that which he had all his life been accustomed to, was glad to sail in the Duke in the capacity of a pilot to the expedition. Great care had been taken in the manning of both vessels, and regulations had been drawn up before sailing, to prevent disputes.
Captain Rogers, whose proceedings during the voyage it is not necessary for us to detail,
Kerr's Voyage--Funnel's Narrative.
pursued the same track as the former expedition; and after cruising along the Brazilian coast, rounded Cape Horn in the month of December, 1708, bearing for Juan Fernandez, to take in water. The crews came in sight of the island on the 31st of January, 1709, little anticipating the surprise which awaited them. What occurred as they approached is thus related by Captain Rogers himself in the account which he published of the voyage: “About two o'clock, P. M., on the 31st of January, we hoisted our pinnace out; Captain Doversecond captain of the Duke—with the boat's crew, went in her to go ashore, though we could not be less than four leagues off. As soon as the pinnace was gone, I went on board the Duchess, the crew of which were astonished at our boat attempting to go on shore at so great a distance from land : it was against my inclination, but, to oblige Captain Dover, I consented to let her go. As soon as it was dark, we saw a light ashore; our boat was then about a league from the island. She stopped, and bore away again for the ships as soon as she saw the light. We put out lights for the boat, though some were of the opinion that the light we saw was not on the island, but the boat's light; but as night came on, it appeared too large for that. We fired one quarterdeck gun and several mus
kets, showing lights in our mizzen and foreshrouds, that our boat might find us, while we plied in the lee of the island. About two in the morning our boat came on board the Duchess : we were glad it got well off, because it began to blow. We were all convinced that the light was on the shore, and designed to make our ships ready to engage, as we believed it to come from French ships at anchor, and that we must either fight them or want water.
“ The next day we stood along the south end of the island, in order to lay in with the first southerly wind, which Captain Dampier told us generally blows there all day along. In the morning, being past the island, we tacked, to lay it in close aboard the land; and about ten o'clock, ran close aboard the land that begins to make the north-east side. The flaws came heavy off the shore, and we were forced to reef our topsails when we opened the middle bay, where we expected to find the enemy, but saw all clear, and no ships in that or the other bay. We guessed there had been ships there, but that they had gone away on sight of us. We sent our yawl ashore about noon with Captain Dover, Mr. Fry, and six men all armed; meanwhile we and the Duchess kept turning to get in.
Our boat did not return, so we sent out our pinnace with the men armed, to see what was the occasion
of the yawl's stay; for we were afraid that the Spaniards had a garrison there, and might have seized it. We put out a signal for our boat, and the Duchess showed a French ensign. Immediately our pinnace returned from the shore, and brought abundance of crawfish, with a man clothed in goat-skins, who looked wilder than the first owners of them.”
Selkirk, the man whose appearance caused such surprise, had seen the sails of the vessels at a distance, but had avoided making any signals which could indicate his presence till he ascertained them to be English. As soon as he had assured himself on this point, his joy was extreme. When night came on, he kindled a large fire on the beach, to inform the strangers that a human being was there. It was this signal which had alarmed the crews of the vessels, and deterred the pinnace from landing. During the night, hope having banished all desire of sleep, he employed himself in killing goats, and preparing a feast of fresh meat for those whom he expected to be his deliverers. In the morning he found that the vessels had removed to a greater distance, but erelong he saw the boat leave the side of one of them and approach the shore. Selkirk ran joyfully to meet his countrymen, waving a linen rag to attract their attention; and having pointed out to them a
proper landing-place, soon had the satisfaction of clasping them in his arms. Joy at first deprived him of that imperfect power of utterance which solitude had left him, but in a little he was able to offer and receive explanations. Dover, the second captain, Fry, the lieutenant, and the rest of the boat party, after partaking of Selkirk's hospitality, invited him on board; but so little eager was he to leave his solitude, that he was not prevailed upon to do so till assured that Dampier had no situation of command in the expedition_his former experience of Dampier's mode of conducting a ship having given him no great confidence in him. When he was told that Dampier was only a pilot on board he made no further objection. He was then, as we have seen, brought on board the Duke, along with his principal effects; and on the same day by the recommendation of Dampier, he was engaged as a mate. " At his first coming on board us,” says Captain Rogers, “he had so much forgot his language, for want of use, that we could scarcely understand him, for he seemed to speak his words by halves. He would touch no liquor, having drank nothing but water on the island; and it was some time before he could relish our victuals.”
For a fortnight the two vessels remained at Juan Fernandez refitting, recruiting their sick,