Robinson Crusoe

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A young boy who is sent with Robinson and Ismael on the Turkish pirate captain's fishing boat. He swears loyalty to Robinson after Ismael is pushed overboard and accompanies him along the coast of Africa and even to Brazil. Robinson sells Xury into the service of the Portuguese captain who rescues him.

Xury Quotes in Robinson Crusoe

The Robinson Crusoe quotes below are all either spoken by Xury or refer to Xury. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Robinson Crusoe published in 2003.
Chapter 3 Quotes

For who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward, to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes and destroy us; where we could not go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind?

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Xury
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

After managing to swim away with Xury and escape the pirate ship, Robinson knows that his struggles are not yet over. He remains on edge as, even more than before, he realizes that he is in an unknown place with no one to protect him, and must remain on alert for any other sources of danger. Still, Robinson shows himself to be naturally suspicious of certain kinds of danger in particular.

Robinson had known theoretically that joining a merchant ship could be dangerous, but that was the kind of danger that didn't bother him. What does fill him with fright are the thoughts of strange, different peoples - in particular Africans. Robinson equates "savage beasts" with "savage" men, espousing a crude, colonialist-inflected understanding of other peoples, especially dark-skinned peoples, as less than human. At the same time, the history of colonialism in Africa is such that it probably is probable, at this historical moment, that a white man would be (justifiably) looked upon with equal suspicion and fear by those peoples themselves. 


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Chapter 4 Quotes

He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Xury, The Portuguese Captain
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

If there's anything we've learned about Robinson through the first few chapters of the book, it's that he prizes his freedom and individuality above nearly all else. This is what has motivated him to go to sea and what has propelled him to escape - of course, with the help of Xury. Robinson seems to grant, at least implicitly, that there is a massive contradiction between wanting freedom for himself and agreeing to sell off someone else into slavery: this is why he makes clear that he was so reluctant to take away the boy's "liberty." 

Still, Robinson cannot be that reluctant, since he soon agrees to the captain's terms. He seems to justify these terms to himself based on the captain's agreement to set Xury free if he converts to Christianity (though only in ten years) - which for him is significant enough to counteract any other questions. Although Robinson has spent a great deal of time with Xury, and though he seems to really enjoy his company, he fails to consider the boy, who is not from England, as a person with the same hopes, fears, and human dignity as himself.

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Xury Character Timeline in Robinson Crusoe

The timeline below shows where the character Xury appears in Robinson Crusoe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
...of escape when he was sent with a Moor named Ismael and a boy named Xury on a small row-boat to go fishing. He tricked Ismael into loading the boat with... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson then turned to Xury and told him, "if you will be faithful to me I will make you a... (full context)
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Xury and Robinson did not sleep that night, as they heard strange creatures come into the... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Xury and Robinson saw no other humans around them. Robinson didn't know where exactly they were,... (full context)
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
...passed by. As they went further south, they began to see inhabitants on the shore. Xury was wary of going ashore to speak with these Africans, but Robinson sailed close enough... (full context)
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Some native inhabitants brought back food for Robinson and Xury. Then, two strange creatures came running down the mountains toward the water, frightening the Africans.... (full context)
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
...fresh water and Robinson continued to sail south, until he neared the Cape de Verd. Xury spotted another ship, which turned out to be a Portuguese vessel. The Portuguese took them... (full context)
Chapter 4
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
The Portugese captain bought Robinson's small boat from him. He offered to buy Xury, as well, but Robinson was hesitant to give up Xury's liberty. The captain promised to... (full context)
Advice, Mistakes, and Hindsight Theme Icon
Contentment vs. Desire and Ambition Theme Icon
Robinson soon found that he needed help working the land and regretted selling Xury to the Portuguese captain, but says that it is no surprise that he made a... (full context)
Chapter 11
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
...worried that it might be inhabited by savages or cannibals. He found himself wishing for Xury. (full context)