e 1r41§an &u4y
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1922
A Dutch "Robinson Crusoe"
(By Lops Elisabeth WhItcomb) '!ism, at a probable familiarity with the
Lucius L. Hubbard, a regent of the Printed Eleven Y ears Before Defoe's; Dutch story on to part a Defoe, at-
Lucus . Hbbr ,a rget atliogl te poafianot by any means
University of Michigan, has translated Th k7 b Regent Hoclusive. The similarity between
into English the Dutch story, "Sjouke Ls)b Regent Hubbard the two books is so great, however,
Gabbes," by Hendrik Smeeks, origin- that when "Sjouke Gabbes" was
ally published in 1708, eleven years translated into German in 1721 it was
allyree publi ion 08, elee n s sode of the discovery of the footprint semnbling it, but had no Talons or thought to be an imitation of "Robin-
before the pubiation of "Robinson in the sand, always associated with Claws more than common, its Flesh son Cirusoe," a supposition that is
Crusoe," which bears a marked resem- the story of Robinson Crusoe as one was Carrion, and fit for nothing." The somewhat amusing when one considers
blance to the Dutch book. of its most distinctive points, occurred change seems a significant one. As vwhat the true status of the matter
The translation of "Sjouke Gabbes" also in "Sjouke Gabhes." Mr. Hubbard, points out, Defoe might probably is.
(Wahr) has as sub-title "A Dutch Resemblances such as those already as well have added "unlike the bird Mr. lubbard does not try to be-
Source for Robinson Crusoe" and quoted are interesting, but the trivial described in Krinke Kesnies." little the English novel as a literary
bears the following dedication: "To , chievemont. Indeed it is a much
the People of Holland this little book more adequate and interesting treat-
is respectfully inscribed in the hope ment than is the work of Hendrik
that it may help award to one of their Smeeks, auw Defoe has proved his
countryemn the ned that is jsthy laim to his material as surely as
his." Iis Shakespeare or Browning. More-
This mead is, according to Mr. Bub- over, in the eighteenth century, even
dirctp1if da, speialyfront one
bard, the recognition of Defoe's in- Irangiiage t tiiarism,sewasy race
debtedness to Smeeks for the Robin- Itioit was a and
sum motif, and, to sonte extent, fOr ithat was generally countenanced and
treatment throughout the narralive. Mr. -
Hubbard has included in his book the ethics.
part of the story in the original Dutch Quits aside from its likeness to
which parallels the English novel. In Robinson Crusoe," "Sjouke Gabbes"
addition he has placed quotations from a story charming for its own sake
'Robinson Crusoe" (the third edition in is iiaitness and simplicity. In
pf W. Taylor, London, 1719, 'lion type') his introduction Mr. Hubbard says:
and page references to "Robinson "ltuoogewerff touches upon the per-
Crusoe" in a narrow column beside the sonality of Smeeks and says in effect
"Sjouke Gabbes" text to facilitate com- 7t that he must have been a peculiar
parison of the two. man, of a character more or less
~.. o the - :bizarr'e; lb.at he certainty possessed
The general outline of the stories is.
similar. The earlier narrative gives .aginaton i large measure, and that
this above all makes it worth while to
the expertences if a Dutch cabiin husy,a edwa ewie.Teeioeo
Soukereai hat he scites. The episode of
nae issw. iv . asidne the cabin boy is the proof of Sneeks'
on an tsand. Krinhke Re.smes, in the,
South Sea, and existed alone there for ability to piettire things to himself.
many years. just as in Defoe's story 'With a character such as this, it can
man y ars . f .no.irprise a.s that be it was that
Robinson Crusoe lived alone upon his not su
conceived the Robinson motif and first
islaned. Besides the s imilarity of thus: ? oreii uti artiefr.
swurkedt it out in narra tive form.'
framework, there are many specific em
likensses.: Itiogewerff, not in agreenient sith
Stavermam, says that the merit in the
For example, the word "skipper" narrative is not restricted to single
occurs only once in each book. and at ii)asages, but the style is uniformly
the same place in the narrative. mooth and sprightly; the story itself
"Schipper," Mr. Hubbard notes, is the is unstudied and exceedingly well
ordinary term in Dutch for master of a told, least of all dry or dull. For
ship. ihese reasons alone, even withoutt its
In both books the castaway is vis- probabils connection with Robinson
ited by savages, and it is at the time _ Crusoe, the narrative should be of in-
of this visitation that the first use of terest to us. It is as if the writer him-
the spy-glass is made by each exile. - self had fallen, in the episode, under
In both cases the hero's habitation 'is the hre of his material, for here
secure against attack,hmt is not pro- hs his style becomes markedly more
visioned with water. The first visita- sprightly than is the case in the book
tion of the savages passes in both stor- as a whole. The tone, too, has invol-
lea without bloodshed, but the econd untarily become different, and it is due
time the natives come, 'Ijouks limits to this that this episode, which is far
one of them, and without apparent and away the best and most attractive
reason, decapitates him, just as in the part of the book, comes to stand on
English tale Friday cuts off the head its own merits."
of a dead savage, this also at the time It is the opinion of Professor F.
of the sceond visit of the savages. N. Scott that in thoroughly investigat-
Both castaways kept journals, both The above picture is a reproductio n of the frontispiece from the original ing the Dutch prototype of 'Robinson
built huts which they called "for- edition of "Sjouke Gabbes," printed in Holland in. 1708. (Courtesy of George Crusoe" Mr. Hubbard has made a real
tresses" or "castles;'; both obtained contribution to the history of English
from a wrecked ship great stores ofArbor). literature. The University of Michi-
supplies, including a carpenter's gan should count it distinctly to her
chest; both prayed that there would honor that there is among her regents
be a survivor of the unknown ship differences between the two tales are Other points of careful difference -a word too often connoting politics
but in each case "there was nothing even more convincing. On one occa- are to be noted: on Robinson's island so ardent a scholar as Mr. Hubbard
left in the ship that had life" except a sioan Sjourke goes hunting and shoots there were wild goats; on Krinke Kes- has proved himself to be.
dog. Both had a peculiar horror of a" large bird, which he describes as mes, wild bulls; Sjouke made a wag- A collection of editions of "Robinson
having to go without clothes, and tooks having beautiful plumage, thick, red, on, Robinson, a wheelbarrow; Robin- Crusoe" which Mr. Hubbard has
the greatest care to preserve the gar- curved claws, and flesh that proves to son's examination of the little brook brought together contains more than
ments that remained to them. Robin- be delicious. Robinson makes the fol- which he discovered was in the oppo- six hundred different imprints, It is
son Crusoe "could not abide the lowing record of a hunting episode: site direction from Sjouke's, though said to be the finest Robinson library
thoughts of ........ going naked, and "I shot at a great Bird which I saw each stream headed in a section where in existence. He is also collecting edi-
in the latter part of the Dutch story sitting upon a Tree on the Side of a fruit was plentiful, and each emptied tions of "Gulliver's Travels"- and has
Sjouke says "My greatest hardship great Wood......I took it to be a into a cove near to the exile's hut. recently written a book on Swift's
was that I had to go naked." The epi- Kind of a Hawk, its Color and Beak re- These things indicate, if not plagiar- famous masterpiece.