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he grew thoroughly reconciled to his condition. When he had made this conquest, the vigour of his health, disengagement from the world, a constant cheerful serene sky, and a temperate air, made his life one continual feast, and his being much more joyful than it had before been irksome. He now, taking delight in every thing, made the hut in which he lay, by orna. ments which he cut down from a spacious wood, on the side of which it was situated, the most delicious bower, fanned with continual breezes and gentle aspirations of wind, that made his repose after the chace equal to the most sensual pleasures.
I forgot to observe, that, during the time of his dissatisfaction, monsters of the deep, which frequently lay on the shore, added to the terrors of his solitude; their dreadful howlings and voices seemed too terrible to be made for human ears: but, upon the recovery of his temper, he could with pleasure not only hear their voices, but approach the monsters themselves with great intrepidity. He speaks of sea-lions, whose jaws and tails we capable of seizing and breaking the limbs of a man, if he approached them; but at that time his spirits and life were so high, that he could act so regularly and unconcerned, that merely from being unruffled in
himself, he killed them with the greatest ease imaginable for observing, that though their jaws and tails were so terrible, yet the animals being mighty slow in working themselves round, he had nothing to do but place himself exactly opposite to their middle, and as close to them as possible, and he dispatched them with his hatchet at will.
The precaution which he took against want, in case of sickness, was to lame kids when very young, so as they might recover their health, but never be capable of speed. These he had in great numbers about his hut; and when he was himself in full vigour, he could take at full speed the swiftest goat running up a promontory, and never failed of catching them, but on a descent.
His habitation was extremely pestered with rats, which gnawed his clothes and feet when sleeping. To defend himself against them, he fed and tamed numbers of young kitlings, who lay about his bed, and preserved him from the enemy. When his clothes were quite worn out, he dried and tacked together the skins of goats, with which he clothed himself; and was inured to pass through woods, bushes, and brambles, with as much carelessness and precipitance as any other animal. It happened once to him,
that running on the summit of a hill, he made a stretch to seize a goat; with which under him, he fell down a precipice, and lay senseless for the space of three days, the length of which time he measured by the moon's growth since his last observation. This manner of life grew so exquisitely pleasant, that he never had a moment heavy upon his hands; his nights were untroubled, and his days joyous, from the prac tice of temperance and exercise. It was his manner to use stated hours and places for exercises of devotion, which he performed aloud, in order to keep up the faculties of speech, and to utter himself with greater energy.
When I first saw him, I thought, if I had not been let into his character and story, I could have discerned that he had been much separated from company, from his aspect and gesture; there was a strong but cheerful seriousness in his look, and a certain disregard to the ordinary things about him, as if he had been sunk in thought. When the ship, which brought him off the island, came in, he received them with the greatest indifference with relation to the prospect of going off with them, but with great satisfaction in an opportunity to refresh and help them. The man frequently bewailed his return to the world, which could not, he said,
with all its enjoyments, restore him to the tranquillity of his solitude. Though I had frequently conversed with him, after a few months absence he met me in the street, and though he spoke to me, I could not recollect that I had seen him: familiar converse in this town had taken off the loneliness of his aspect, and quite altered the air of his face.
This plain man's story is a memorable example, that he is happiest who confines his wants to natural necessities; and he that goes further in his desires, increases his wants in proportion to his acquisitions; or, to use his own expression, "I am now worth eight hundred pounds, but shall never be so happy as when I was not worth a farthing."
THE ENGLISHMAN, No. 26, Dec. 3, 1713.
Though the story of Alexander Selkirk was originally published in the Voyage of Woodes Rogers, some doubt has been lately entertained as to the authenticity of the fact; and it has consequently been asserted, that the interesting adventures of Robinson Crusoe are entirely the creation of Defoe. This paper, by Steele, however, now nearly forgotten, not only sufficiently proves the existence of Selkirk, but that his misfortunes most undoubtedly furnished the outline of the above-mentioned popular romance,
THOSE who set up for critics in poetry, and are met with in ordinary conversation, may be reduced to two classes; such as judge by rule, or such as judge by nature. The first are men of little or no taste, who haying read over the mechanical rules, and learned a few terms of art, are able to point out palpable faults or beauties in an author, and thereby gain a reputation for learning. The others are generally talkers, of glittering fancies and hurried imaginations, who despise art and method, who admire what was never said before, and affect the character of wits. It is pleasant to see the men of judgment start at a turn or a metaphor; and the men of taste, as they call themselves, yawn at a plain and noble description. A natural critic looks upon a regular as a dunce; and the regular thinks the natural little better