Chapter 1

 

I was born in York, England in 1632. My father was German and my mother was English. My father’s family name was Kreutznaer, but after he came to England people started calling him Crusoe. My mother’s family was called Robinson. This is how I came to be called Robinson Crusoe.

I had two elder brothers. The oldest one joined the army and was killed in battle. The middle one disappeared and we never heard what became of him. I was well-educated and my father wanted me to study law, but I wanted to go to sea. Nothing would convince me to stay at home and become a lawyer.

I was 18 years old when one day my father called me to his room. He was old and suffered from a disease which kept him in bed. My father asked me why I wanted to go to sea when I can stay at home, study and prosper in my own country. He told me that travelling abroad by sea was dangerous. He warned me that I would lose peace and comfort of my home if I go to sea. My father also told me that if I go abroad my fate might be similar to that of my eldest brother. When saying this he started crying and he could not continue.

My father’s advice and warnings made me think and I started to forget my desire to travel by sea. Yet, my decision to stay home did not last long. One week passed and I made my mind up to talk to my mother and tell her I am determined to travel. I told her how curious I was. I told her how I wanted to see the world, then asked her to speak to my father. I asked her to convince him to let me go on one sea journey. I promised that if I did not like it, I would go back home and start working very hard. My mother did not agree. She also did not want me to go abroad.

I stayed home one more year. The whole time I was thinking whether to follow my parents’ wish or my own desire. One day I was in the town of Hull. A friend of mine was going with his father’s ship to London and he invited me to go with him for free. I wasn’t prepared and my parents did not know, but I boarded that ship on that September day.

This is how my unhappy adventures began.