Brief Account of Stradling, Clipperton, and Dampier, after their respective Separations, till their Returns to England.
The reader may remember that Captain Dampier, in the St George, left Captain Stradling in the Cinque-ports on the 19th of May, 1704, at King’s Island, in the Bay of Panama. The force under Captain Stradling was too insignificant to maintain him long in the South Sea, for which reason he went to the island of Juan Fernandez in search of shelter and refreshments. They were in so forlorn a condition at this time, that Alexander Selkirk chose rather to remain by himself in that island, than to run the hazard of returning to the South Sea in the Cinque-ports. In this he shewed great judgment, as the Cinque-ports actually foundered on the coast of Barbacora (Barbacoas), and only Captain Stradling, with six or seven of his men, were saved, and sent prisoners to Lima. Captain Stradling was alive there at the time when Woods Rogers came into the South Sea, but what became of him afterwards is unknown.
[Footnote 214: This person, on whose simple adventures the romance of Robinson Crusoe was soon afterwards founded, will be more particularly mentioned in a subsequent chapter of this book.—E.]
The next person who left Captain Dampier was his mate, Mr Clipperton of whom we shall have occasion to say much in a succeeding voyage round the world. Clipperton was certainly a man of parts and resolution, and probably would not have deserted from Captain Dampier, if he had not thought that his commander was resolved to remain in his old crazy ship in the South Sea till she foundered. Finding many of the crew of the same opinion, he thought proper to leave him at the middle islands, as already related, where it was plain to every one that the St George was no longer fit for going to sea. Mr Clipperton set sail on the 2d September, 1704, having twenty-one men, in a small bark of ten tons, with two masts and two square sails, two swivels, two or three barrels of powder, and some shot. With this inconsiderable force, he ventured into Rio Leon, on the coast of Mexico, where he took two Spanish ships riding at anchor. One of these was very old and worm-eaten,