As you may have gleaned from my recent book quotations I have been working my way through the literary classics with great gusto. I aim to present a weekly book quote on this blog every Wednesday. I’m currently reading Robinson Crusoe which ashamedly I had never read before. Talk about a page-turning adventure soaked travel journey of realistic fiction.
According to wikipedia: Robinson Crusoe was first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work’s protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.
I read the following section this morning regarding one of his many near-death experiences and contemplation of God which struck a particular chord because I found myself in a similar predicament recently regarding my health and I was vigorously trying to find God’s place in it all. My scrambling thoughts during that event were eerily similar way to how Robinson Crusoe described his. It would be too presumptuous of me to just go right into the excerpts without shedding a little detail of the circumstances Crusoe found himself. It doesn’t do this spectacular story the least bit of justice, but at least for those readers unfamiliar with Crusoe or even for those that are it provides a refresher of sorts in order to appreciate the passage to which this post is dedicated.
Crusoe set sail from Kingston upon Hull on a sea voyage in August 1651, against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a career in law. Even after having just survived a brutal storm in his maiden journey his lust for sea remained so strong that he sets out to sea again. After many adventures and mishaps on the high seas including being enslaved for two years and eventually escaping and soon thereafter with the help of a Portuguese captain he is able to procure a plantation. Years later, Crusoe joins an expedition to bring slaves from Africa, but he is shipwrecked in a storm about forty miles out to sea on an island (which he calls the Island of Despair). Overcoming his immediate despair as the sole survivor he is able to salvage much of the ships cargo and supplies. He even writes out a like a debtor and creditor the comforts he enjoyed, against the miseries he suffered and determines the following:
After having forged a relative comfortable existence on the island and found himself in a good disposition as the quote above alludes, Crusoe is suddenly beset by a ghastly fever:
The fever doesn’t abate and after having a particularly wicked dream Crusoe is compelled to reevaluate his soul as it were:
Then the following flurry of thoughts from Crusoe is what confounded me most as he viewed death before him: