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The Swiss Family Robinson (Kingston)

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For works with similar titles, see The Swiss Family Robinson.
The Swiss Family Robinson
by Johann David Wyss, edited by William Henry Giles Kingston, translated by Agnes Kinloch Kingston

(German: Der Schweizerische Robinson) a novel, first published in 1812, about a Swiss family who are shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia



A New Translation from the Original German



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The Swiss Family Robinson” is so general a favourite that it is hoped a fresh version may prove acceptable.

It has been translated by members of my family from the German, with the omission of the long sententious lectures found in the original, and some slight alterations calculated to enliven the narrative.

W. H. G. K.


Storm-tossed—Wrecked—Deserted—Supper—We make swimming-belts for the children—An anxious night—The gale moderates—We examine our cargo—Jack introduces two new acquaintances—How shall we get on shore?—Jack's plan—We adopt it—The use of a lever—Our tub-boat completed—Another night on the wreck—We collect a cargo—And embark—Jack's friends will not be left behind—Steer for the shore—Once more on land—We erect a tent—Glue soup—Jack makes the acquaintance of a lobster—Ernest shirks the water—Oysters and salt—How shall we eat our soup?—Ernest solves the difficulty—Fritz returns—The sucking-pig—How to open an oyster and how to eat it—The dogs devour the agouti—Fritz's anger—Our first night in the new country 1
A morning consultation—Breakfast—Away on an expedition—Over the stream and through the grass—An unexpected reinforcement—Search in vain for our comrades—Rest by a stream—Fritz finds a “round bird's nest”—Natural history of a cocoa-nut—Calabash trees—The use of gourds—How to make a bottle—A lovely but lonely scene—Sugar-canes—Monkeys of use—Cocoa-nut milk turned to champagne—Turk kills an unfortunate mother monkey—Carry the orphan home—Display our treasures—A sumptuous supper—Ernest's penguin—Champagne turned to vinegar—A fight with jackals—A curious sentinel—A visit to the wreck—We rig our craft—Stow a cargo—Sleep on board—Floats for our herd—We embark—Encounter a shark—Land 26
The mother relates her adventures—Proposes that we should build a nest—How Jack treated the jackal skin—How the boys were surprised by a bustard—How they found the mangrove tree—How the dogs caught the crabs—We discuss the possibility of making a house in the tree—To bed once more—We start for the wreck—The shark again—Return to land—Franz's craw-fish—Bridge-building—We pack up—A family removing in patriarchal style—A prickly enemy—Jack shoots it—We reach our new home—Fritz rids our poultry of an enemy—Little Franz finds the figs—Dinner—We prepare materials for our nest—Flamingoes—Roast and tame—The use of trigonometry—A cord carried over the bough—The rope ladder made—We mount our tree—Sleep under the roots—The building of the nest—Retire to roost for the first time 58
A day of rest—A parable for the young people—Quiet recreation—Geographical nomenclature—The margay and porcupine skins made of use—An expedition to Tentholm—Potatoes, potatoes—Tropical vegetation—The use of the Karatas—Jack's greediness and its punishment—Ernest discovers cochineal—Arrive at Tentholm—The poultry rebellious—Return to Falconhurst—Ernest roused out early—We collect wood for a sledge—Master Knips turns thief—Franz's plan for the saving of ammunition—Ernest and I take the sledge to Tentholm—Ernest's laziness exemplified—He catches a salmon—We start for home—Kill a kangaroo—And cook it 95
Jack and Ernest disappear—Fritz and I start for the wreck—The boys' ambuscade—We form a raft—Ransack the vessel—Again embark—A turtle in sight—Fritz harpoons it—The turtle acts as “Steam Tug”—Safe ashore—Return home—Jack's clay field—A fresh discovery—The mother's cellar—A trip to the wreck—The pinnace—Jack's raid on the Lilliputians—A secret revealed—A new method of grinding flour—Wholesome or poisonous?—Bread-making in earnest 121
Now for the pinnace—Repeated visits to the wreck—The pinnace built—How shall we cut her out—The difficulty solved—We fit her out—Fire a salute—The mother's surprise—We visit Falconhurst—Attend to our fruit trees—Athletics—The lasso—An excursion—A Bustard captured—Ernest discovers a magician—Jack fights him—The Liane Rouge—We turn carvers—Ernest's alarm—The old sow again—We discover a sleeping beauty—Return with it to the camp—Knips pronounces our apples “good”—Return to Falconhurst 140
Fritz and I return to the Calabash wood—Fritz shoots a rutted grouse—We come across wax-berry bushes—Sociable grosbeaks—Fitz captures a parrot—A lecture on ants—Caoutchouc trees—The sago-palm, and the edible worms—Return with sugar-canes to Falconhurst—Candle-making—How to make butter without a churn—Plant trees and adorn Tentholm—Last visit to the wreck—The first ducklings on the island—Falconhurst again—An excursion—We pitch our tent—Fritz and Jack ascend the cocoa-nut trees—Ernest brings us a delicacy—Loss of Grizzle—Jack and I go in pursuit—Giant bamboos—Encounter with buffaloes—The buffalo calf—Find a jackal's lair—Reach our camp—What happened in our absence—Fritz's pet—Sago manufacture—Meet with our sow and her family again—How Ernest tamed the eagle 166
Prop our young trees—A lecture on grafting—A new idea broached—Why should we not build stairs within the trunk of our tree?—Jack finds one objection—I make a beehive, and we drive the bees from the tree—Stair-making—Additions to our family of domestic animals—The education of the ‘pets’—Shoe-making—We lead water from the stream to Falconhurst—A strange animal approaches—Our old ass and his companion—The onager captured—Provisioning our winter quarters—Capture of ruffed grouse—We discover flax—The rainy season 199
Spring again—We begin to hew a cave—Jack makes a discovery—We drive the foul air from the cavern—The mother and her boys join us—We explore the cave—Fit it up as our winter-quarters—The herring-bank—We catch seals—Fishing on a grand scale—Isinglass and caviare—We visit our plantations—An expedition to establish a colony—The building of “Woodlands”—Jack and Fritz return to Falconhurst for provisions—Ernest and I explore—A “beast with a bill”—We build a canoe—Franz undertakes the education of Grumble—We continue our work at the cave—Carpet making—Thanksgiving-day—A startling salute—Athletics and shooting—Prize giving—Manufacture of bird-lime—Fritz and Jack ride off for caoutchouc—Shoot a crane and badger—Find “Woodlands” turned upside down by monkeys—Discover Gensing 218
Bird-lime—A midnight raid—The massacre at Woodlands—Capture of Molucca—pigeons—A pigeon-house—Fritz and I prepare a conjuring trick—Great success of our experiment—Lichen and nutmegs discovered—Jack's adventure—The loom manufactured—Winter stores prepared—The rainy season sets in—Interior of our house arranged—We study languages—The return of Spring—A stranded whale—An account of coral—We go to work on the whale's carcase—Remarks on the habits of the whale 263
The blubber of the whale boiled and stored—A unique machine—Expedition to Prospect Hill—Whale's tongue is voted no delicacy—We land on Whale Island—Jack discovers a strange skeleton—Turtle turning—Towed ashore—The loom completed—Return of the herring shoals—Basket making—We manufacture a sedan chair—Ernest's wild ride therein—A boa constrictor appears—He retreats to the marsh—Suspense—Poor Grizzle's fate—An awful scene—Death of the monster—An account of snakes—Remedies for poisoned bites—Ernest writes Grizzle's epitaph—The serpent stuffed and placed in the museum 290
We examine the marsh—A cave discovered—We find the floor covered with fuller's earth—Discharge our pistols—Jack's fright—Ernest captures an eel—An expedition towards the Gap—Visit Falconhurst and Woodlands, and examine the country round—Franz shoots a capybara—Ernest and Knips fight the rats—A lecture on musk—Cinnamon apples—A peccary hunt—We prepare the peccary meat—Disasters at Prospect Hill—An exploring expedition through the Gap—We find our barrier broken down—Across the desert—Strange objects in the distance—An account of ostriches—An ostrich slain—We discover the nest—A mud tortoise—We encounter bears—A desperate fight—Back again to camp—We skin the bears and smoke their flesh—Pepper found—Three of the boys start on an expedition—I discover talc 313
The boys return and give an account of their adventures—How they captured the antelopes—How Fritz caught the rabbits, and Jack rode down the gazelles—How they followed the honey bird, and Jack tried to rob the bees' byke—We sup on the bears' paws—Across the desert again—Sight three ostriches—The male bird captured—We secure him between Storm and Grumble—The mother's astonishment at our new pet—Return to Woodlands—Home again—We establish colonies on Shark and Whale Islands—Turn our attention to agriculture—The difficulties of ostrich training—My patent saddle and bridle—I exercise my ingenuity in various trades 352
The rainy season again—The building of the cajack—The mother invents a swimming dress—A visit to our colonies—Mysterious seaweed—The mother's surprise—A visit to Whale Island—Mischievous pigs—The three boys return from a day's hunting—They display their treasures—A new skinning apparatus—We make a crushing machine—An early harvest—We prepare a threshing floor—Reaping in Italian fashion—Threshing also in Italian fashion—Return of the herring shoals 373
Trial of the cajack—Fritz kills a walrus—We carry home its head—The storm—Where is Fritz?—Safe at last—The fishing season—An expedition proposed—Three of the boys start for Woodlands—Pigeon post—Encounter with an hyæna—Wood Lake explored—A tapir—Prospect Hill pillaged—A tragedy—The boys in danger—We join them—We build a summer-house—Discover the cacao plant—Fritz ascends the stream—He sees elephants and hippopotami—Jack's “moist secret”—We return to Rockburg—Grace and Beauty—Shark Island is fortified 388
Ten years afterwards—Our farms and farmyards—Fritz makes a voyage of discovery—Cape Minster and the swallows' nests—Pearl oysters—A magnificent bay—The strange message—An excursion to Pearl Bay—Fritz proposes to search for the stranger and prepares his canoe for her reception—The pearl fishery—An encounter with a wild boar—Jack's accident—Truffles—A midnight alarm—The lion and his mate—Our enemies overcome—Juno's death—We set sail for Rockburg—Fritz leaves us 423
Juno's epitaph—Fritz does not appear—We start in search of him—A cachalot whale—The unexpected appearance of a savage—Fritz in a dusky disguise—He leads us to Fair Isle and shows us the wonders therein—The stranger—Fritz narrates his adventures—How he saw Toucans—Encountered a tiger—Lost Pounce—Found the smoking-rock and Jenny Montrose—The history of the stranger—Wolves dispute our right to the whale—Coco joins his brethren—Jack and Jenny search for the truant—We leave Pearl Bay—A hearty reception—A visit to Falconhurst—Jack displays our stud—The rainy season again 448
Spring and its accompanying work—The mysterious guns—Who fired them—A storm—Fritz and I reconnoitre—The English brig—We visit her in the yacht—Captain Littlestone—We are cordially welcomed—Mr. Wolston and his family—An earnest consultation—Our visitors at Rockburg—The supper—Who is for Europe and who for New Switzerland?—The decision—Farewell 473

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Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.