I Am Very Ill and Frighted - I Am Very Seldom Idle Summary

On June 18, 1659 Robinson began to feel ill, he suffered from chills and progressively became very ill. He self-diagnosed it as ague, or a malaria like illness, which he did not fully recover from until July 3rd. He spent much of his time thinking about his relationship with God. He during his illness, experienced an alarming dream in which a man emerged from a black cloud and spoke to him. He said, "Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance, now thou shalt die". He was very frightened by this dream, which caused him to look at his life, his sins, and his relationship with God. He in the end decided, when God tells a person to ask for deliverance, he was really speaking of delivering the person from their sins and not the problem for which they are seeking God's help. He started to read the Bible as he started to recover and gain back his strength. He felt blessed to be delivered from his sins and was not as upset with his circumstances.

After these experiences and revelations, Robinson took it upon himself to explore the island. He had been on the island ten months and wanted to know more about the island. He found it to contain some wild grapes, lemons, and limes. These he gathered to bring home with him, because he thought they would be of use to him during the rainy season. The rainy season which occurred from September through October was not far off and he knew his food supply would run low at this time. He also found the creek, he at first used to beach his raft, flowed further into the island and ended as a brook in a savanna. This meadow had tobacco and sugar cane growing wild on it, but none of it was usable.

He gathered up the limes, lemons, and grapes into mounds, which he intended to return for the next day. However, the next day he found the grapes eaten and trampled, so he concluded there must be some animals on the island that he had not yet encountered. Eventually, Robinson constructed a small home for himself in the savanna, because he enjoyed the green and lush surroundings. He also dried the grapes, which he intended to use during the rainy season. This was a good idea as the rains came soon after he collected all the dried grapes. He was sometimes confined to his cave for days at a time by the fierce rains.

His cat, which he thought had been killed, returned one day with three kittens in tow. The kittens looked like the mother cat which puzzled Robinson, because he had only seen one wild cat on the island. He had killed the wild cat and the other cat from the ship was also a female cat, so Robinson had no idea what fathered these kittens.

He also celebrated the first year of his living on the island by fasting for the day and asking for forgiveness of his sins. He felt he had been remiss in celebrating the Sabbath and made a concerted effort to be more faithful in his ways.

Robinson had kept some seeds from the corn and rice, which had grown wild after he had thrown away the spoiled stores from the ship. He decided to plant 2/3 of the seeds to see if they would grow in the dry season. They did not grow due to lack of rain, but he did learn to plant his crops in moister ground and around the time of the rainy season. He also found out the trees he cut to make a fence around his second home, grew quickly and made a fine hedge around his second home in the savanna. He made a table of the dry and wet seasons, so he could be prepared for each ones particular difficulties. He also learned to use the quickly growing tree branches to weave baskets for his belongings.

After learning how to plant his crops and weave baskets, Robinson felt it was time he began to explore the whole island. He saw land from the beach, deciding it must be part of America near the Spanish colonies, which were inhabited by savages. He found himself feeling grateful he had not been marooned there, because he thought the savages to be cannibals. He did find the other side of the island's beach was full of tortoises and birds which would have made his hunt for food easier. He had the misfortune of becoming lost in a very large valley which made it almost impossible to find the correct direction to walk to find his way out. He was lost in the valley for three or four days, but he at last found his way his way home. On the way he and his dog caught and tamed a young goat, which he could use for future food.

He now has been on the island two years and was learning to be grateful for the opportunity he had been afforded by God to live a religious life. He also learned how much more labor intensive it was to accomplish anything, be it making planks, pots, or bread, without the proper tools and help. He did in the end accomplish these things, but instead of days it took him weeks to accomplish each single task. He tried to fix and make sea worthy the boat which he and the others escaped from the ship, but it was mired in the sand, which made it impossible for him to move. He still had a desire to escape his new home and return to civilization.

Robinson Crusoe in this section of the book faces illness and a crisis of faith, which leave him a changed man. He becomes more religious and he becomes even more self-sufficient in his efforts to survive the physical and emotional hardships of being stranded alone on an island.

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