Excerpt from The Swiss Family Robinson: Or Adventures of a Father and Mother and Four Sons in a Desert Island
A pastor or Clergyman of West Switzerland, having lost his fortune in the Revolution of 1798, resolved, on reﬂecting on the family he had to bring up, to become a voluntary exile, and to seek in other climates the means of support. He sailed, accordingly, with his wife and children, four sons, from twelve to five years of age, for England, where he accepted an appoint ment of Missionary to Otaheite not that he had any desire to take up his abode in that. Island, but that he had conceived the plan of passing from thence to Port Jackson, and domiciliating himself there as a free settler. He possessed a considerable knowledge of agriculture, and by this means hoped, with the aid of his sons, to gain an advantageous establishment, which his own country, convulsed with the horrors of war, denied him. He turned the small remnant of his fortune into money, and bought with it seeds of various sorts, and a few cattle, as farming stock. The family took their passage accordingly, satisfied with this consolation - that they should still remain together; and they sailed with favorable winds till in sight of New Guinea. Here they were attacked by a destructive and unrelenting tempest and it is in this crisis of their Adventures that the Swiss Pastor, or Family Robinson, begins the Journal which is now presented to the Public.
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