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Robinson Crusoe

Wreck Of A Spanish Ship
I WAS now in the twenty-third year of my residence in this island, and was so naturalised
to the place and the manner of living, that, could I but have enjoyed the certainty that no
savages would come to the place to disturb me, I could have been content to have
capitulated for spending the rest of my time there, even to the last moment, till I had laid
me down and died, like the old goat in the cave. I had also arrived to some little
diversions and amusements, which made the time pass a great deal more pleasantly with
me than it did before - first, I had taught my Poll, as I noted before, to speak; and he did it
so familiarly, and talked so articulately and plain, that it was very pleasant to me; and he
lived with me no less than six-and-twenty years. How long he might have lived
afterwards I know not, though I know they have a notion in the Brazils that they live a
hundred years. My dog was a pleasant and loving companion to me for no less than
sixteen years of my time, and then died of mere old age. As for my cats, they multiplied,
as I have observed, to that degree that I was obliged to shoot several of them at first, to
keep them from devouring me and all I had; but at length, when the two old ones I
brought with me were gone, and after some time continually driving them from me, and
letting them have no provision with me, they all ran wild into the woods, except two or
three favourites, which I kept tame, and whose young, when they had any, I always
drowned; and these were part of my family. Besides these I always kept two or three
household kids about me, whom I taught to feed out of my hand; and I had two more
parrots, which talked pretty well, and would all call "Robin Crusoe," but none like my
first; nor, indeed, did I take the pains with any of them that I had done with him. I had
also several tame sea-fowls, whose name I knew not, that I caught upon the shore, and
cut their wings; and the little stakes which I had planted before my castle-wall being now
grown up to a good thick grove, these fowls all lived among these low trees, and bred
there, which was very agreeable to me; so that, as I said above, I began to he very well
contented with the life I led, if I could have been secured from the dread of the savages.
But it was otherwise directed; and it may not be amiss for all people who shall meet with
my story to make this just observation from it: How frequently, in the course of our lives,
the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the
most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which
alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into. I could give many
examples of this in the course of my unaccountable life; but in nothing was it more
particularly remarkable than in the circumstances of my last years of solitary residence in
this island.
It was now the month of December, as I said above, in my twenty- third year; and this,
being the southern solstice (for winter I cannot call it), was the particular time of my
harvest, and required me to be pretty much abroad in the fields, when, going out early in
the morning, even before it was thorough daylight, I was surprised with seeing a light of
some fire upon the shore, at a distance from me of about two miles, toward that part of
the island where I had observed some savages had been, as before, and not on the other
side; but, to my great affliction, it was on my side of the island.