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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied
with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so
strongly against the will, nay, the commands of my father, and
against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other
friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propensity
of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to
befall me.

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent
counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one
morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and
expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me
what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for
leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well
introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application
and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was
men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior
fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by
enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature
out of the common road; that these things were all either too far
above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or
what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the
most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and
hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of
mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and
envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the
happiness of this state by this one thing - viz. that this was the
state of life which all other people envied; that kings have
frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born to