The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: Quote List

The following is a list of notable quotes I found while reading The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe – published in 1719.  The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe can be found for free at Project Gutenburg.  For a short, original book review and commentary please see the links.

Pg 61 – Commentary: Subjective Theory of Value
However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use; for I had other things which my eye was more upon-as, first, tools to work with on shore; and it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter’s chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-loading of gold would have been at that time.

Pg 69 – Commentary: Subjective Theory of Value
…I discovered  a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six pounds (~7k USD) value of money, some European coin, some Brasil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money.  “O Drug!” said I, aloud, “what art thou good for?  thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking off the ground.  One of these knives is worth all this heap.  I have no manner of use for thee, even remain where thou art and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving.”

Pg 72 – Commentary: Knowledge, Security and the Unknown
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows one upon another, … leaning against … about two foot and a half high … this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it or over it.  This cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.

Pg 73 – Commentary: Knowledge, Security and the Unknown
…I was completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently spent secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though, as it appeared afterword, there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from.

Pg 148 to 149 – Commentary: Count the Costs
When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it: the boat was really much bigger than I ever saw a canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life. … But all my devices to get it into the water failed me … it was up hill towards the creek. … for I could no more stir the canoe than I could the [shipwrecked ship].  Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a dock, or canal, to bring the water up to the canoe, seeing I could not bring the canoe down to the water. Well, I began this work, and when I began to enter into it, and calculated how deep it was to be dug, how broad, how the stuff to be thrown out, I found that by the number of hands I had, being none but my own, it must have been ten or twelve years before I should have gone through with it … This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it.

Pg 194 to 195 – Commentary: Only God Can Judge
As long as I kept up my daily tour to the hill to look out, so long also I kept up the vigour of my design, and my spirits seemed to be all the while in a suitable frame for so outrageous an execution as the killing twenty or thirty naked savages  … but now, when … I began to be weary of the fruitless excursion which I had made so long, and so far, every morning in vain; so my opinion of the action itself began to alter, and I began … to consider what it was I was going to engage in; what authority or call I had to pretend to be judge and executioner upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven had thought fit for so many ages to suffer, unpunished, to go on, and to be, as it were, the executioners of his judgments upon one another; also, how far these people were offenders against me, and what right I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood which they shed promiscuously one upon another.  … How do I know what God himself judges in this particular case?  … They do not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins we commit.


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