The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Das Leben und die Abenteuer des Robinson Crusoe

Übersetzt von Lore Krüger, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012
























who lived eight and twenty years all alone in an un-in­hab­ited is­land on the coast of Amer­ica, near the mouth of the great river Oroonoque;
hav­ing been cast on shore by ship­wreck, wherein all the men per­ished but him­self.
With an ac­count how he was at last as strangely de­liv­er’d by pyr­ates.
Writ­ten by him­self.


If ever the story of any private man’s ad­ven­tures in the world were worth mak­ing pub­lic,
and were ac­cept­able when pub­lished, the Ed­it­or of this ac­count thinks this will be so.
The won­ders of this man’s life ex­ceed all that (he thinks) is to be found ex­tant;
the life of one man be­ing scarce cap­able of a great­er vari­ety.
The story is told with mod­esty, with ser­i­ous­ness, and with a re­li­gious ap­plic­a­tion of events to the uses to which wise men al­ways ap­ply them,
viz. to the in­struc­tion of oth­ers by this ex­ample,
and to jus­ti­fy and hon­our the wis­dom of Provid­ence in all the vari­ety of our cir­cum­stances, let them hap­pen how they will.
The ed­it­or be­lieves this nar­rat­ive to be a just his­tory of fact; neither is there any ap­pear­ance of fic­tion in it.
However this may be (for all such things are dis­puted),
he is of opin­ion that the im­prove­ment of it, as well as the di­ver­sion, as to the in­struc­tion of the read­er, will be the same;
and as such, he thinks, without farther com­pli­ment to the world, he does them a great ser­vice in the pub­lic­a­tion.


I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good fam­ily, though not of that coun­try,
my fath­er be­ing a for­eign­er of Bre­men, who settled first at Hull:
he got a good es­tate by mer­chand­ise, and leav­ing off his trade, lived af­ter­wards at York, from whence he had mar­ried my moth­er,
whose re­la­tions were named Robin­son, a very good fam­ily in that coun­try, and from whom I was called Robin­son Kreutzn­aer;
but by the usu­al cor­rup­tion of words in Eng­land, we are now called, nay we call ourselves, and write our name Cru­soe,
and so my com­pan­ions al­ways called me.
I had two eld­er broth­ers, one of which was lieu­ten­ant-col­on­el to an Eng­lish re­gi­ment of foot in Flanders, formerly com­manded by the fam­ous Col­on­el Lock­hart,
and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Span­iards.
What be­came of my second broth­er I nev­er knew, any more than my fath­er or moth­er did know what was be­come of me.
Be­ing the third son of the fam­ily, and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with ram­bling thoughts:
my fath­er, who was very an­cient, had giv­en me a com­pet­ent share of learn­ing,
as far as house edu­ca­tion and a coun­try free-school gen­er­ally go, and de­signed me for the law;
but I would be sat­is­fied with noth­ing but go­ing to sea;
and my in­clin­a­tion to this led me so strongly against the will, nay the com­mands of my fath­er, and against all the en­treat­ies and per­sua­sions of my moth­er and oth­er friends,
that there seemed to be something fatal in that propen­sion of nature tend­ing dir­ectly to the life of misery which was to be­fal me.
My fath­er, a wise and grave man, gave me ser­i­ous and ex­cel­lent coun­sel against what he foresaw was my design.
He called me one morn­ing into his cham­ber, where he was con­fined by the gout, and ex­pos­tu­lated very warmly with me upon this sub­ject:
he asked me what reas­ons more than a mere wan­der­ing in­clin­a­tion I had for leav­ing my fath­er’s house and my nat­ive coun­try,
where I might be well in­tro­duced, and had a pro­spect of rais­ing my for­tune by ap­plic­a­tion and in­dustry, with a life of ease and pleas­ure.
He told me it was for men of des­per­ate for­tunes on one hand, or of as­pir­ing su­per­i­or for­tunes on the oth­er, who went abroad upon ad­ven­tures,
to rise by en­ter­prise, and make them­selves fam­ous in un­der­tak­ings of a nature out of the com­mon road;
that these things were all either too far above me, or too far be­low me;
that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the up­per sta­tion of low life,
which he had found by long ex­per­i­ence was the best state in the world, the most suited to hu­man hap­pi­ness,
not ex­posed to the miser­ies and hard­ships, the la­bour and suf­fer­ings of the mech­an­ic part of man­kind,
and not em­bar­rassed with the pride, lux­ury, am­bi­tion, and envy of the up­per part of man­kind,
he told me, I might judge of the hap­pi­ness of this state by this one thing, viz. that this was the state of life which all oth­er people en­vied;
that kings have fre­quently lamen­ted the miser­able con­sequences of be­ing born to great things,
and wish they had been placed in the middle of the two ex­tremes, between the mean and the great;
that the wise man gave his testi­mony to this as the just stand­ard of true fe­li­city, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bid me ob­serve it, and I should al­ways find, that the calam­it­ies of life were shared among the up­per and lower part of man­kind;
but that the middle sta­tion had the few­est dis­asters, and was not ex­posed to so many vi­cis­situdes as the high­er or lower part of man­kind;
nay, they were not sub­jec­ted to so many dis­tem­pers and un­eas­i­nesses, either of body or mind,
as those were, who by vi­cious liv­ing, lux­ury, and ex­tra­vag­ances, on one hand,
or by hard la­bour, want of ne­ces­sar­ies, and mean or in­suf­fi­cient diet, on the oth­er hand, bring dis­tem­pers upon them­selves by the nat­ur­al con­sequences of their way of liv­ing;
that the middle sta­tion of life was cal­cu­lated for all kind of vir­tues and all kind of en­joy­ments;
that peace and plenty were the hand­maids of a middle for­tune; that tem­per­ance, mod­er­a­tion, quiet­ness, health, so­ci­ety,
all agree­able di­ver­sions, and all de­sir­able pleas­ures, were the bless­ings at­tend­ing the middle sta­tion of life;
that this way men went si­lently and smoothly through the world, and com­fort­ably out of it,
not em­bar­rassed with the la­bours of the hands or of the head,
not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or har­assed with per­plexed cir­cum­stances,
which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; not en­raged with the pas­sion of envy, or secret burn­ing lust of am­bi­tion for great things;
but in easy cir­cum­stances slid­ing gently through the world, and sens­ibly tast­ing the sweets of liv­ing, without the bit­ter,
feel­ing that they are happy, and learn­ing by every day’s ex­per­i­ence to know it more sens­ibly.
After this, he pressed me earn­estly, and in the most af­fec­tion­ate man­ner, not to play the young man, not to pre­cip­it­ate my­self into miser­ies
which nature and the sta­tion of life I was born in seemed to have provided against;
that I was un­der no ne­ces­sity of seek­ing my bread;
that he would do well for me, and en­deav­our to enter me fairly into the sta­tion of life which he had been just re­com­mend­ing to me;
and that if I was not very easy and happy in the world,
it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder it, and that he should have noth­ing to an­swer for,
hav­ing thus dis­charged his duty in warn­ing me against meas­ures which he knew would be to my hurt:
in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home as he dir­ec­ted,
so he would not have so much hand in my mis­for­tunes, as to give me any en­cour­age­ment to go away:
and to close all, he told me I had my eld­er broth­er for an ex­ample,
to whom he had used the same earn­est per­sua­sions to keep him from go­ing into the Low Coun­try wars, but could not pre­vail,
his young de­sires prompt­ing him to run into the army, where he was killed;
and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would ven­ture to say to me, that if I did take this fool­ish step, God would not bless me,
and I would have leis­ure here­after to re­flect upon hav­ing neg­lected his coun­sel
when there might be none to as­sist in my re­cov­ery.
I ob­served in this last part of his dis­course, which was truly proph­et­ic,
though I sup­pose my fath­er did not know it to be so him­self; I say, I ob­served the tears run down his face very plen­ti­fully,
and es­pe­cially when he spoke of my broth­er who was killed;
and that when he spoke of my hav­ing leis­ure to re­pent, and none to as­sist me,
he was so moved, that he broke off the dis­course, and told me, his heart was so full he could say no more to me.
I was sin­cerely af­fected with this dis­course, as in­deed who could be oth­er­wise?
and I re­solved not to think of go­ing abroad any more, but to settle at home ac­cord­ing to my fath­er’s de­sire.
But, alas! a few days wore it all off; and in short, to pre­vent any of my fath­er’s farther im­por­tun­it­ies, in a few weeks after I re­solved to run quite away from him.
However, I did not act so hast­ily neither as my first heat of res­ol­u­tion promp­ted,
but I took my moth­er, at a time when I thought her a little pleas­anter
than or­din­ary, and told her, that my thoughts were so en­tirely bent upon see­ing the world,
that I should nev­er settle to any thing with res­ol­u­tion enough to go through with it,
and my fath­er had bet­ter give me his con­sent than force me to go without it;
that I was now eight­een years old, which was too late to go ap­pren­tice to a trade, or clerk to an at­tor­ney;
that I was sure, if I did, I should nev­er serve out my time, and I should cer­tainly run away from my mas­ter be­fore my time was out, and go to sea;
and if she would speak to my fath­er to let me go one voy­age abroad,
if I came home again, and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would prom­ise by a double di­li­gence to re­cov­er that time I had lost.
This put my moth­er into a great pas­sion: she told me, she knew it would be to no pur­pose to speak to my fath­er upon any such sub­ject;
that he knew too well what was my in­terest to give his con­sent to any such thing so much for my hurt;
and that she wondered how I could think of any such thing after such a dis­course as I had had with my fath­er,
and such kind and tender ex­pres­sions as she knew my fath­er had used to me;
and that, in short, if I would ruin my­self, there was no help for me;
but I might de­pend I should nev­er have their con­sent to it:
that for her part she would not have so much hand in my de­struc­tion;
and I should nev­er have it to say, that my moth­er was will­ing when my fath­er was not.
Though my moth­er re­fused to move it to my fath­er, yet, as I have heard af­ter­wards, she re­por­ted all the dis­course to him,
and that my fath­er, after shew­ing a great con­cern at it, said to her with a sigh,
“That boy might be happy if he would stay at home; but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miser­able wretch that was ever born; I can give no con­sent to it.”
It was not till al­most a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the mean­time, I con­tin­ued ob­stin­ately deaf to all pro­pos­als of set­tling to busi­ness,
and fre­quently ex­pos­tu­lat­ing with my fath­er and moth­er about their be­ing so pos­it­ively de­term­ined against what they knew my in­clin­a­tions promp­ted me to.
But be­ing one day at Hull, where I went cas­u­ally, and without any pur­pose of mak­ing an elope­ment that time;
but I say, be­ing there, and one of my com­pan­ions be­ing go­ing by sea to Lon­don, in his fath­er’s ship, and prompt­ing me to go with them,
with the com­mon al­lure­ment of sea­far­ing men, viz. that it should cost me noth­ing for my pas­sage,
I con­sul­ted neither fath­er or moth­er any more, not so much as sent them word of it; but leav­ing them to hear of it as they might,
without ask­ing God’s bless­ing, or my fath­er’s, without any con­sid­er­a­tion of cir­cum­stances or con­sequences,
and in an ill hour, God knows, on the first of Septem­ber, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for Lon­don.
Nev­er any young ad­ven­turer’s mis­for­tunes, I be­lieve, began soon­er, or con­tin­ued longer than mine.
The ship was no soon­er got­ten out of the Hum­ber, but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise in a most fright­ful man­ner;
and, as I had nev­er been at sea be­fore, I was most in­ex­press­ibly sick in body, and ter­ri­fied in mind.
I began now ser­i­ously to re­flect upon what I had done, and how justly I was over­taken by the judg­ment of Heav­en
for my wicked leav­ing my fath­er’s house, and abandon­ing my duty;
all the good coun­sel of my par­ents, my fath­er’s tears and my moth­er’s en­treat­ies, came now fresh into my mind;
and my con­science, which was not yet come to the pitch of hard­ness to which it has been since,
re­proached me with the con­tempt of ad­vice, and the breach of my duty to God and my fath­er.
All this while the storm in­creased, and the sea, which I had nev­er been upon be­fore, went very high,
though noth­ing like what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw a few days after:
but it was enough to af­fect me then, who was but a young sail­or, and had nev­er known any thing of the mat­ter.
I ex­pec­ted every wave would have swal­lowed us up,
and that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough or hol­low of the sea, we should nev­er rise more;
and in this agony of mind I made many vows and res­ol­u­tions, that if it would please God here to spare my life this one voy­age,
if ever I got once my foot upon dry land again I would go dir­ectly home to my fath­er,
and nev­er set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would take his ad­vice, and nev­er run my­self into such miser­ies as these any more.
Now I saw plainly the good­ness of his ob­ser­va­tions about the middle sta­tion of life, how easy, how com­fort­ably he had lived all his days,
and nev­er had been ex­posed to tem­pests at sea, or troubles on shore;
and I re­solved that I would, like a true re­pent­ing prod­ig­al, go home to my fath­er.
These wise and sober thoughts con­tin­ued all the while the storm con­tin­ued, and in­deed some time after;
but the next day the wind was abated, and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little in­ured to it:
however, I was very grave for all that day, be­ing also a little sea-sick still;
but to­wards night the weath­er cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charm­ing fine even­ing fol­lowed;
the sun went down per­fectly clear, and rose so the next morn­ing; and hav­ing little or no wind,
and a smooth sea, the sun shin­ing upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most de­light­ful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very cheer­ful,
look­ing with won­der upon the sea that was so rough and ter­rible the day be­fore, and could be so calm and so pleas­ant in so little time after.
And now, lest my good res­ol­u­tions should con­tin­ue, my com­pan­ion, who had in­deed en­ticed me away, comes to me:
“Well, Bob,” says he, (clap­ping me upon the shoulder) “how do you do after it?
I war­rant you were frighted, wa’n’t you, last night, when it blew but a cap­ful of wind?”
— “A cap­ful do you call it?” said I; “it was a ter­rible storm.”
— “A storm you fool you,” replied he, “do you call that a storm? why it was noth­ing at all;
give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think noth­ing of such a squall of wind as that; but you’re but a fresh-wa­ter sail­or, Bob.
Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and we’ll for­get all that; do you see what charm­ing weath­er it is now?”
To make short this sad part of my story, we went the old way of all sail­ors; the punch was made,
and I was made drunk with it; and in that one night’s wicked­ness I drowned all my re­pent­ance,
all my re­flec­tions upon my past con­duct, and all my res­ol­u­tions for my fu­ture.
In a word, as the sea was re­turned to its smooth­ness of sur­face and settled calmness by the abate­ment of that storm,
so the hurry of my thoughts be­ing over, 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.
I found, in­deed, some in­ter­vals of re­flec­tion, and the ser­i­ous thoughts did, as it were, en­deav­our to re­turn again some­times;
but I shook them off, and roused my­self from them as it were from a dis­tem­per,
and ap­ply­ing my­self to drink­ing and com­pany, soon mastered the re­turn of those fits, for so I called them;
and I had in five or six days got as com­plete a vic­tory over con­science,
as any young fel­low that re­solved not to be troubled with it could de­sire:
but I was to have an­oth­er tri­al for it still; and Provid­ence, as in such cases gen­er­ally it does, re­solved to leave me en­tirely without ex­cuse:
for if I would not take this for a de­liv­er­ance, the next was to be such a one
as the worst and most hardened wretch among us would con­fess both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our be­ing at sea we came into Yar­mouth Roads;
the wind hav­ing been con­trary, and the weath­er calm, we had made but little way since the storm.
Here we were ob­liged to come to an­chor, and here we lay, the wind con­tinu­ing con­trary, viz. at south-west, for sev­en or eight days,
dur­ing which time a great many ships from New­castle came into the same roads, as the com­mon har­bour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but should have tided it up the river,
but that the wind blew too fresh; and after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard.
However, the roads be­ing reckoned as good as a har­bour, the an­chor­age good, and our ground tackle very strong,
our men were un­con­cerned, and not in the least ap­pre­hens­ive of danger,
but spent the time in rest and mirth, after the man­ner of the sea;
but the eighth day in the morn­ing the wind in­creased, and we had all hands at work to strike our top­masts,
and make every thing snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as pos­sible.
By noon the sea went very high in­deed, and our ship rid fore­castle in, shipped sev­er­al seas,
and we thought once or twice our an­chor had come home;
upon which our mas­ter ordered out the sheet an­chor; so that we rode with two an­chors ahead, and the cables veered out to the bet­ter end.
By this time it blew a ter­rible storm in­deed; and now I began to see ter­ror and amazement in the faces even of the sea­men them­selves.
The mas­ter, though vi­gil­ant in the busi­ness of pre­serving the ship,
yet as he went in and out of his cab­in by me, I could hear him softly to him­self say sev­er­al times,
“Lord be mer­ci­ful to us! we shall be all lost, we shall be all un­done!” and the like.
Dur­ing these first hur­ries I was stu­pid, ly­ing still in my cab­in, which was in the steer­age, and can­not de­scribe my tem­per:
I could ill re­as­sume the first pen­it­ence which I had so ap­par­ently trampled upon, and hardened my­self against:
I thought the bit­ter­ness of death had been past, and that this would be noth­ing like the first:
but when the mas­ter him­self came by me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost,
I was dread­fully frighted: I got up out of my cab­in, and looked out;
but such a dis­mal sight I nev­er saw; the sea went moun­tains high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes:
when I could look about, I could see noth­ing but dis­tress round us:
two ships that rid near us, we found, had cut their masts by the board, be­ing deep loaden; and our men cried out,
that a ship which rid about a mile ahead of us was foundered.
Two more ships be­ing driv­en from their an­chors, were run out of the roads to sea, at all ad­ven­tures, and that with not a mast stand­ing.
The light ships fared the best, as not so much la­bour­ing in the sea; but two or three of them drove,
and came close by us, run­ning away with only their sprit-sail out be­fore the wind.
To­wards even­ing the mate and boat­swain begged the mas­ter of our ship to let them cut away the fore-mast, which he was very un­will­ing to do:
but the boat­swain protest­ing to him, that if he did not, the ship would founder, he con­sen­ted;
and when they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much,
they were ob­liged to cut her away also, and make a clear deck.
Any one may judge what a con­di­tion I must be in at all this,
who was but a young sail­or, and who had been in such a fright be­fore at but a little.
But if I can ex­press at this dis­tance the thoughts I had about me at that time,
I was in ten­fold more hor­ror of mind upon ac­count of my former con­vic­tions,
and the hav­ing re­turned from them to the res­ol­u­tions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death it­self;
and these, ad­ded to the ter­ror of the storm, put me in such a con­di­tion, that I can by no words de­scribe it.
But the worst was not come yet; the storm con­tin­ued with such fury, that the sea­men them­selves ac­know­ledged they had nev­er known a worse.
We had a good ship, but she was deep loaden, and wal­lowed in the sea, that the sea­men every now and then cried out, she would founder.
It was my ad­vant­age in one re­spect, that I did not know what they meant by founder till I in­quired.
However, the storm was so vi­ol­ent, that I saw what is not of­ten seen,
the mas­ter, the boat­swain, and some oth­ers more sens­ible than the rest, at their pray­ers, and ex­pect­ing every mo­ment when the ship would go to the bot­tom.
In the middle of the night, and un­der all the rest of our dis­tresses, one of the men that had been down on pur­pose to see, cried out, we had sprang a leak;
an­oth­er said, there was four foot wa­ter in the hold.
Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very word my heart, as I thought, died with­in me,
and I fell back­wards upon the side of my bed where I sat, into the cab­in.
However, the men roused me, and told me, that I that was able to do noth­ing be­fore, was as well able to pump as an­oth­er;
at which I stirred up, and went to the pump and worked very heart­ily.
While this was do­ing, the mas­ter see­ing some light col­li­ers, who, not able to ride out the storm,
were ob­liged to slip and run away to sea, and would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a sig­nal of dis­tress.
I, who knew noth­ing what that meant, was so sur­prised, that I thought the ship had broke, or some dread­ful thing happened.
In a word, I was so sur­prised, that I fell down in a swoon.
As this was a time when every body had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was be­come of me;
but an­oth­er man stept up to the pump, and thrust­ing me aside with his foot, let me lie, think­ing I had been dead;
and it was a great while be­fore I came to my­self.
We worked on; but the wa­ter in­creas­ing in the hold, it was ap­par­ent that the ship would founder;
and though the storm began to abate a little; yet as it was not pos­sible she could swim till we might run into a port,
so the mas­ter con­tin­ued fir­ing guns for help;
and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ven­tured a boat out to help us.
It was with the ut­most haz­ard the boat came near us, but it was im­possible for as to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship’s side,
till at last the men row­ing very heart­ily, and ven­tur­ing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length,
which they after great la­bour and haz­ard took hold of, and we hauled them close un­der our stern, and got all into their boat.
It was to no pur­pose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of reach­ing to their own ship;
so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in to­wards shore as much as we could;
and our mas­ter prom­ised them, that if the boat was staved upon shore he would make it good to their mas­ter:
so partly row­ing and partly driv­ing, our boat went away to the north­ward, slop­ing to­wards the shore al­most as far as Win­ter­ton-Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship but we saw her sink,
and then I un­der­stood for the first time what was meant by a ship founder­ing in the sea.
I must ac­know­ledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the sea­men told me she was sink­ing;
for from that mo­ment they rather put me into the boat, than that I might be said to go in; my heart was, as it were, dead with­in me,
partly with fright, partly with hor­ror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet be­fore me.
While we were in this con­di­tion, the men yet la­bour­ing at the oar to bring the boat near the shore,
we could see, when our boat mount­ing the waves we were able to see the shore, a great many people run­ning along the shore to as­sist us when we should come near;
but we made but slow way to­wards the shore, nor were we able to reach the shore,
till be­ing past the light-house at Win­ter­ton, the shore falls off to the west­ward to­wards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the vi­ol­ence of the wind.
Here we got in, and, though not without much dif­fi­culty, got all safe on shore,
and walked af­ter­wards on foot to Yar­mouth, where, as un­for­tu­nate men, we were used with great hu­man­ity,
as well by the ma­gis­trates of the town, who as­signed us good quar­ters, as by par­tic­u­lar mer­chants and own­ers of ships,
and had money giv­en us suf­fi­cient to carry us either to Lon­don or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home, I had been happy,
and my fath­er, an em­blem of our blessed Sa­viour’s par­able, had even killed the fat­ted calf for me;
for hear­ing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yar­mouth Roads,
it was a great while be­fore he had any as­sur­ance that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an ob­stin­acy that noth­ing could res­ist;
and though I had sev­er­al times loud calls from my reas­on and my more com­posed judg­ment to go home, yet I had no power to do it.
I know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret over-rul­ing de­cree
that hur­ries us on to be the in­stru­ments of our own de­struc­tion,
even though it be be­fore us, and that we push upon it with our eyes open.
Cer­tainly noth­ing but some such de­creed un­avoid­able misery at­tend­ing, and which it was im­possible for me to es­cape, could have pushed me for­ward
against the calm reas­on­ings and per­sua­sions of my most re­tired thoughts, and against two such vis­ible in­struc­tions as I had met with in my first at­tempt.
My com­rade, who had helped to harden me be­fore, and who was the mas­ter’s son, was now less for­ward than I.
The first time he spoke to me after we were at Yar­mouth, which was not till two or three days,
for we were sep­ar­ated in the town to sev­er­al quar­ters; I say, the first time he saw me, it ap­peared his tone was altered,
and look­ing very mel­an­choly, and shak­ing his head, asked me how I did,
and telling his fath­er who I was, and how I had come this voy­age only for a tri­al, in or­der to go farther abroad;
his fath­er turn­ing to me with a very grave and con­cerned tone, “Young man,” says he, “you ought nev­er to go to sea any more;
you ought to take this for a plain and vis­ible token that you are not to be a sea­far­ing man.”
— “Why, Sir,” said I, “will you go to sea no more?” “That is an­oth­er case,” said he;
“it is my call­ing, and there­fore my duty; but as you made this voy­age for a tri­al,
you see what a taste Heav­en has giv­en you of what you are to ex­pect if you per­sist:
per­haps this is all be­fallen us on your ac­count, like Jo­nah in the ship of Tar­shish.
Pray,” con­tin­ues he, “what are you? and on what ac­count did you go to sea?”
Upon that I told him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a strange kind of pas­sion;
“What had I done,” says he, “that such an un­happy wretch should come into my ship?
I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thou­sand pounds.”
This in­deed was, as I said, an ex­cur­sion of his spir­its, which were yet agit­ated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have au­thor­ity to go.
However, he af­ter­wards talked very gravely to me, ex­hor­ted me to go back to my fath­er, and not tempt Provid­ence to my ruin;
told me I might see a vis­ible hand of Heav­en against me. “And young man,” said he, “de­pend upon it,
if you do not go back, wherever you go, you will meet with noth­ing but dis­asters and dis­ap­point­ments, till your fath­er’s words are ful­filled upon you.”
We par­ted soon after; for I made him little an­swer, and I saw him no more: which way he went, I know not.
As for me, hav­ing some money in my pock­et, I trav­elled to Lon­don by land;
and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with my­self, what course of life I should take, and wheth­er I should go home, or go to sea.
As to go­ing home, shame op­posed the best mo­tions that offered to my thoughts;
and it im­me­di­ately oc­curred to me how I should be laughed at among the neigh­bours, and should be ashamed to see,
not my fath­er and moth­er only, but even every body else;
from whence I have since of­ten ob­served, how in­con­gru­ous and ir­ra­tion­al the com­mon tem­per of man­kind is, es­pe­cially of youth,
to that reas­on which ought to guide them in such cases, viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to re­pent;
nor ashamed of the ac­tion for which they ought justly to be es­teemed fools,
but are ashamed of the re­turn­ing, which only can make them be es­teemed wise men.
In this state of life however I re­mained some time, un­cer­tain what meas­ures to take, and what course of life to lead.
An ir­res­ist­ible re­luct­ance con­tin­ued to go­ing home; and as I stayed a while, the re­mem­brance of the dis­tress I had been in wore off;
and as that abated, the little mo­tion I had in my de­sires to a re­turn wore off with it,
till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voy­age.

Daniel Defoe
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe / Das Leben und die Abenteuer des Robinson Crusoe
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Lore Krüger

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