by Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Page Number). We used the 2008 Oxford World Classics edition.
It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore, which was very plain to be seen in the Sand: I stood like one Thunder-struck, or as if I had seen an Apparition; I listen'd, I look'd round me, I could hear nothing, nor see any Thing, I went up to a rising Ground to look farther, I went up the Shore and down the Shore, but it was all one, I could see no other Impression but that one, I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to obseve if it might not be my Fancy; but there was no Room for that, for there was exactly the very Print of a Foot, Toes, Hell, and every Part of a Foot; how it came thither, I knew not, nor could in the least imagine. But after innumerable fluttering Thoughts, like a Man perfectly confus'd and out of my self, I came Home to my Fortification, not feeling, as we say, the Ground I went on, but terrify'd to the last Degree, looking behind me at every two or three Steps, mistaking every Bush and Tree, and fancying every Stump at a Distance to be a Man; (130)
The footprint Crusoe encounters is the first sign that he's not actually alone on the island.
…and this I must observe with Grief too, that the Discompusure of my Mind had too great Impression also upon the religious Part of my Thoughts, for the Dread and Terror of falling into the Hands of Savages and Canibals, lay so upon my Spirits, that I seldom found my self in a due Temper for Application to my Maker, at least not with the sedate Calmness and Resgination of Soul which I was wont to do; (138)
Crusoe fears the cannibals. As do we.
That this would justify the Conduct of the Spaniards in all their Barbarities practis'd in America, and where they destory'd Millions of these People, who however they were Idolaters and Barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous Rites in their Customs, such as sacrificing human Bodies to the Idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent People; and that the rooting them out of the Country, is spoken of with the utmost Abhorrence and Detestation, by even the Spaniards themselves, at this Time; and by all other Christian Nations of Europe, as a meer Butchery, a bloody and unnatural Piece of Cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or Man; and such, as for which the very name of Spaniard is reckon'd to be frightful and terrible to all People of Humanity, or of Christian Compassion: As if the Kingdom of Spain were particularly Eminent for the Product of a Race of Men, who were without Principles of Tenderness, or the common Bowels of Pity to the Miserable, which is reckon'd to be a Mark of generous Temper in the Mind. (145)
Crusoe critiques the Spanish conquest of the Americas in all of its barbarity – how is his colonization of the island different? That is, what makes him different from the Spaniards?