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MonkeyNotes-Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Chapter 4: I Came to Brazil

After three weeks Crusoe and his rescuers reach Brazil. The captain buys Xury and promises to look after him. Crusoe sells all he has on board, as well as the boat, and makes some money. With this money he buys some uncleared land and becomes a planter. Soon he begins to prosper and after three years, he starts growing tobacco. By the end of the fourth year, he has made a handsome profit, is fluent in the language of the land, and is well known among the merchants.

One morning three of his friends come to him with a proposal. They all know about his earlier adventures, and they think him well suited for the venture they have in mind. Since they all need workers for their plantations, they plan to prepare a ship and sail for Guinea to obtain slaves. Crusoe is offered command of the ship. They promise him an equal share of the profits and tell him that he will not have to invest in the venture. Greedy for more wealth, Crusoe agrees to the proposal. He makes his friends trustees of his plantation, and after drawing up his will, he sets out on yet another voyage.


Notes

Providence is kind to Crusoe in Brazil. He sells the ship that he has stolen and its belongings to his rescuers. He also sells Xury into slavery, even though the native was always loyal to him. The momentary feelings of guilt pass away because the sale brings him an easy profit. He uses the money to buy some land in Brazil and begins a successful farming operation.

His prosperity in Brazil is due largely to his enterprising nature. However, the irony, as he himself mentions, lies in the fact that he ran away from home to escape the life of middle-class business in which he now finds himself. In spite of his prosperity, the lure of more wealth is irresistible to him. He agrees to become a slave trader and sets off on a doomed voyage in search of available natives.

Crusoe sinks to his lowest here. After selling off the faithful Xury, he now is on the way, with absolutely no moral scruples, to seizing slaves. This reckless abandonment of a comfortable life for a tempting and immoral adventure is sure to provoke the fury of Providence. As a result, the mood becomes somber, and there is a premonition of disaster awaiting Crusoe.

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