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Robinson Crusoe | Quotes


Being the third son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 1

Appearing near the very beginning of the novel, this statement makes clear that Robinson Crusoe's wanderlust starts when he is very young and appears to be inexorable.


In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface ... my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises that I made in my distress.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 1

On his first voyage, Robinson Crusoe immediately regrets his decision as he becomes ill in rough seas. He repents and promises to go home if he gets out of this mess. As is typical of so many repentances, though, once the danger has passed, he continues on his chosen course.


The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently that I could not distrust him, and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 2

Xury, a slave boy Robinson Crusoe meets during his captivity in Morocco, helps Crusoe escape and swears total allegiance to Crusoe. In spite of Xury's loyalty, Crusoe will later sell him to the captain of the Portuguese ship who rescues the two of them.


The generous treatment the captain gave me I can never enough remember.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 3

The Portuguese ship captain is kind to Robinson Crusoe and Xury, allowing them free passage and helping Crusoe get settled in Brazil.


Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any condition in the world so miserable but there was something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 4

Once he has landed on the island, Robinson Crusoe reflects on his new circumstances. He is stranded, but he also salvages a number of useful items from the shipwreck and finds the island reasonably plentiful in food. His observation that even the worst situation contains some reason to give thanks speaks of a deeply rooted optimism in his character.


I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself nor learn to know the blessing of it from my parents.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 6

Believing God is punishing him for leaving his home and family, Robinson Crusoe laments his state on the island and finally feels true regret and repentance for his past mistakes.


And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to make even the most miserable condition of mankind worse.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 10

On his first voyage after building a canoe for himself, Robinson Crusoe almost finds himself washed away from the island in a strong current. As much as he has lamented being isolated on the island, he now understands that his situation could be far worse.


I have been, in all my circumstances, a memento to those who are touched with the general plague of mankind, whence, for aught I know, one half of their miseries flow: I mean that of not being satisfied with the station wherein God and Nature hath placed them.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 14

As he has done before, Robinson Crusoe acknowledges the cause of his miseries has been his inability to settle in one place and be satisfied with his good fortune. More than that, though, he acknowledges this may be a universal problem.


It is true I had been very unfortunate by sea, and this might be one of the reasons; but let no man slight the strong impulses of his own thoughts in cases of such moment.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 19

In deciding how to travel from Lisbon to London, Robinson Crusoe follows his instincts and opts to go by land, which is fortunate because the ships he considered traveling on met with disaster. He has learned not to ignore his instincts.


Any one would think that in this state of complicated good fortune I was past running any more hazards—and so, indeed, I had been, if other circumstances had concurred; but I was inured to a wandering life.

Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 20

Even after all the disasters he has experienced, including 28 years marooned on an island, Robinson Crusoe's wanderlust is not quenched.

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