Here is a curious
extract from Robinson Crusoe's
not to be
found in the modern editions of the Adventures, and is omitted in the
This has always seemed to me to be a pity.
"The third day in
the morning, the wind having
the night, I
went down to the shore hoping to find a typewriter and other useful
things washed up from the wreck of the ship; but all that fell in my
was a piece of timber with many holes in it.
My man Friday had many
said that we stood sadly in need of a square table for our afternoon
and I bethought me how this piece of wood might be used for that
And since during the long time that Friday had now been with me I was
wanting to lay a foundation of useful knowledge in his mind, I told him
that it was my wish to make the table from the timber I had found,
without there being any holes in the top thereof.
"Friday was sadly
put to it to say how this might
I said it should consist of no more than two pieces joined
I taught him how it could be done in such a way that the table might be
as large as was possible, though, to be sure, I was amused when he
'My nation do much better: they stop up holes, so pieces sugars not
illustration gives the exact proportion
of the piece
with the positions of the fifteen holes.
How did Robinson Crusoe make
largest possible square table-top in two pieces, so that it should not
have any holes in it?