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of showing something of the infirmities of a and needed no direction from me. I told him mother in preserving a violent affection for him I did not wonder that his father was as he had who had never been able to retain any thought described him, for that his head was a little of me one way or other.
touched before I went away; and principally his I did believe that, having received this letter, disturbance was because I could not be per. he would immediately give it to his son to read, suaded to conceal our relation, and to live with I having understood his eyes being so dim that him as my husband after I knew that he was my he could not see to read it. But it fell out better brother. That as he knew better than I what than so, for as his sight was dim, so he did allow his father's present condition was, I should readily his son to open all letters that came to his hand join with him in such measures as he should for bim; and the old gentleman being from home, direct ; that I was indifferent as to seeing his or out of the way, when my messenger came, my father sinte I had seen him first, and he could letter came directly to my son's hand, and he not have told me better news than to tell me opened and read it.
that what his grandmother had left me was He called the messenger in after some little entrusted in his hands, who I doubted pot, now stay, and asked him where the person was who he knew who I was, would, as he said, do me gave him the letter. The messenger told him | justice. I inquired then how long my mother the place, which was about seven miles off; so had been dead, and where she died, and told he bid him stay, and ordering a horse to be got some more particulars of the family, that I left ready and two servants, away he came to me him no room to doubt of my being really and truly with the messenger.
his mother. · Let any one judge the consternation I was in | My son then inquired where I was, and how I diswhen my messenger came back, and told me the posed of myself. I told him I was on the Maryland old gentleman was not at home, but his son was side of the bay, at the plantation of a particular come along with him, and was just coming up to friend, who came from England in the same ship me. I was perfectly confounded, for I knew not with me; and that, at the farthest side of the bay whether it was peace or war, nor could I tell how | where he was, I had no habitation. He told me, to behave. However, I had but a very few mo I should go home with him and live with him if ments to think, for my son was at the heels of I pleased, as long as I lived. That as to his fathe messenger, and coming up into my lodgings, ther, he knew nobody, and would not as much asked the fellow at the door something, I suppose || as guess at me. I considered of that a little, it was, for I did not hear it so as to understand and told him, though it was really a concern for it, which was the gentlewoman that sent for him, me to live at a distance from him, yet I did not for the messenger said, “There she is, sir;" at say it would be the comfortablest thing in the which he comes directly up to me, kisses me, world for me to live in the same house with him, took me in his arms, and embraced me with so and to have that unhappy object always before me much passion, that he could not speak ; but I which had been such a blow to my peace before ; could feel his breast heave and throb like a child | that though I should be glad to have his com. that cries, but sobs, and cannot cry it out. pany (my son's), or to be as near him as pos. · I can neither express or describe the joy that sible while I stayed, yet I could not think of touched my very soul when I found, for it was being in the house, where I should be also under easy to discover that part, that he came not as a constant restraint, for fear of betraying myself in stranger, but as a son to a mother, and indeed as my discourse, nor should I be able to refrain à son who had never before known what a mother some expressions in my conversing with him as of his own was ; in short, we cried over one my son, that might discover the whole affair, another a considerable while, when at last he which would by no means be convenient. broke out first; “ My dear mother,” says he, He acknowledged that I was right in all this, " are you still alive? I never expected to have but then “ dear mother,” says he, “ you shall be seen your face !" As for me, I could say no. as near me as you can. So he took me with him on thing a great while.
horseback to a plantation next to his own, where After we had both recovered ourselves a little, I was as well entertained as I could have been and were able to talk, he told me how things in his own. Having left me there he went away stood as to what I had written to his father. He | home, telling me he would talk of the main busitold me he had not shown my letter to his father, ness the next day, and having first called me his or told him anything about it; that what his aunt, and giving a charge to the people, wbo it grandmother left me was in his hands, and that seems were his tenants, to treat me with all poshe would do me justice to my full satisfaction ; sible respect. About two hours after he was that as to his father, he was old and infirm both gone, he sent me a maid servant and a negro boy in body and mind; but he was very fretful and to wait on me, and provisions ready dressed for passionate, almost blind, and capable of nothing;
almost blind, and capable of nothing ; ||my supper; and thus I was as if I had been in a and he questioned whether he would know how new world, and began almost to wish that I had to act in an affair which was of so nice a nature not brought my Lancashire husband from Engas this; and therefore he had come himself, as i land at all. well to satisfy himself in seeing me, which he || However, that wish was not hearty neither, for could not restrain himself from, as also to put it I loved my Lancashire husband entirely, as I had in my power to make a judgment, after I had ever done from the beginning: and he merited it seen how things were, whether I would discover as much as possible for a man to do, but that by myself to his father or no.
the way. This was really so prudently and wisely ma The next morning my son came to visit me naged that I found my son was a man of sense, l! again almost as goon as I was up. After a little
discourse, he first of all pulled out a deer skin bag, || and ready, that Virginia did not yield any great and gave it me, with five and fifty Spanish pistoles || plenty of wives; and that, since I talked of going in it, and told me that was to supply my expenses back to England, I should send him a wife from from England; for though it was not his business | London. to inquire, yet he ought to think I did not bring | This was the substance of our first day's cona great deal of money out with me, it not being versation, the pleasantest day that ever passed usual to bring much money into that country. over my head in my life, and which gave me the
Then he pulled out his grandmother's will, and || truest satisfation. He came every day after this, read it over to me, whereby it appeared that she and spent great part of his time with me, and car. left a plantation on York River to me, with the ried me about to several of his friends' houses, stock of servants and cattle upon it, and had || where I was entertained with great respect. Also given it in trust to this son of mine for my use, I dined several times at his own house, where he whenever he should hear of me, and to my heirs, always took care to see his half-dead father sent if I had any children, and in default of heirs, to out of the way that I never saw him or he me. I whomsoever I should by will dispose of it; but made him one present, and it was all I had of gave the income of it, till I should be heard of, value, and that was one of the gold watches, of
to my said son; and if I should not be living, then which, I said, I had two 'in my chest, and this || it was to him and his heirs.
I happened to have with me, and gave it him at This plantation, though remote from him, he his third visit. I told him I had nothing of any said he did not let out, but managed it by a head value to bestow but that, and I desired he would clerk, as he did another that was his father's that now and then kiss it for my sake. I did not, lay hard by it, and went over himself three or indeed, tell him that I stole it from a gentle foar times a year to look after it. I asked him woman's side at a meeting-house in London ; what he thought the plantation inight be worth. that's by the way. He said if I would let it out, he would give me about He stood a litile while hesitating, as if doubtful sixty pounds a year for it; but if I would live on whether to take it or no; but I pressed it on him, it, then it would be worth much more, and he and made him accept it, and it was not much less believed would bring me in about one hundred worth than his leather pouch full of Spanish gold. and fifty pounds a year; but seeing I was likely | no, though it were to be reckoned as if at Lon. either to settle on the other side the bay, or might, || don, whereas it was worth twice as much there. perhaps, have a mind to go back to England, if i At length he took it, kissed it, told me the watch would let him be my steward he would manage it || should be a debt upon him that he would be for me, as he had done for himself; and that he || paying as long as I lived. believed he should be able to send me as much A fey days after he brought the writings of tobacco from it as would yield me about one hun gift and the scrivener with him, and I signed dred pounds a-year, sometimes more.
them very freely, and delivered them to him This was all strange news to me, and things I || with a hundred kisses, for sure nothing ever passed had not been used to ; and really my heart began between a mother and a tender dutiful child with to look up more seriously than I think it ever did more affection. The next day he brings me an before, and to look with great thankfulness to obligation under his hand and seal, whereby he the hand of Providence, which had done such engaged himself to manage and improve the plan. wonders for me, who had been myself the greatest tation for my account, and with his utinost skill, wonder of wickedness, perhaps, that had been and to remit the produce to my order wherever I suffered to live in the world, and I must again | should be, and withal he obliged himself to observe, that not on this occasion only, but even make up the produce, a hundred pounds a-year, on all other occasions of thankfulness, my past to me. When he had done so, he told me that, as wickedness and abominable life never looked so I came to demand it before the crop was off, I monstrous to me, and I never so completely ab- || had a right to the produce of the current year, horred it, and reproached myself with it, as when and so he paid me an hundred pounds in Spanish I had a sense upon me of Providence doing good pieces of eight, and desired a receipt for it as in
to me, while I had been making those vile re. full for that year, ending at Christmas following, 1 turns on my part.
this being about the latter end of August. But I leave the reader to improve these I stayed here about five weeks, and indeed thoughts, as, no doubt, he will see cause, and had much ado to get away then. Nay, he would I go on to the fact. My son's tender carriage have come over the bay with me, but I would and kind offers fetched tears from me, almost all by no means allow him to do it ; however, he the while he talked with me; indeed, I could would send me over in a sloop of his own, which scarcc discourse with him but in the intervals of || was built like a yacht, and served him as well for my passion. However, at length I began, and pleasure as business. This I accepted of, and expressed myself with wonder at my being soso, after the utmost expressions both of duty and happy to have the trust of what I had left put affection, he let me come away, and I arrived into the hands of my own child. I told him that safe in two days at my friend, the Quaker's. as to the inheritance of it, I had no child but I brought over with me, for the use of our him in the world, and was now past having any plantation, three horses with harness and saddles,
I should marry, and therefore would desire some hogs, two cows, and a thousand other him to get a writing drawn, which I was ready | things, the gift of the kindest and tenderest child to execute, by which I would, after me, give it that ever woman had. wholly to him and to his heirs; and in the mean IL I related to my husband all the particulars of time, smiling, I asked him what made him con- | this voyage, except that I called my son my tinue a bachelor so long. His answer was kind ll cousin. And first I told him that I had lost my
watch, which he seemed to take as a misfortune; 1) wenches, which my governess had picked up for but then I told him how kind my cousin had been; me, suitable enough to the place, and to the that my mother had left me such a plantation, work we had for them to do; and one of whom and that he had preserved it for me, in hopes happened to come double, having been got with some time or other he should hear from me. child by one of the seamen in the ship, as she Then I told him I had left it to his management, owned afterwards, before the ship got so far as and that he would render me a faithful account | Gravesend ; so she brought us a stout boy about of its produce, and then I pulled out the hundred seven months after her landing. pounds in silver as the first year's produce; and My husband, you may suppose, was a little then pulling out the deer-skin purse, with the surprised at the arriving of this cargo from Eng. pistoles : “ And here, my dear," says I, " is the land, and talking with me one day after he saw gold watch.” My husband, so is Heaven's good the particulars : “ My dear,” says he, “what ness sure to work the same effects in all sensible is the meaning of all this? I fear you will run minds where mercies touch the heart, lifted up us too deep in debt. When shall we be able to his hands, and with an ecstasy of joy, “ What is make returns for it all ?" I smiled, and told him God a-doing," says he, “ for such an ungrateful it was all paid for ; and then I told him, that not dog as I am !" Then I let him know what I knowing what might befal us in the voyage, and had brought over in the sloop besides all this, I considering what our circumstances might expose mean the horses, hogs, and cows, and other stores us to, I had not taken my whole stock with me; for our plantation ; all which added to his sur. that I had reserved so much in my friend's prise, and filled his heart with thankfulness; and hands, which, now we were come over safe, and from this time forward I believe he was as sin settled in a way to live, I had sent for as he cere a penitent, and as thoroughly a reformed might see. man, as ever God's goodness brought back from He was amazed, and stood awhile, telling upon a profligate, a highwayman, and a robber.
his fingers, but said nothing. At last he began I could fill a larger history than this with the il thus : “ Hold-let's see," says he, telling upon evidences of this truth, but that I doubt that his fingers still; and first upon his thumb: part of the story will not be equally diverting as " There's 2461, in money, first; then two gold the wicked part.
watches, diamond rings, and plate," says he , But this is to be my own story, not my hus upon the fore finger; then upon the next finger: band's ; I return, therefore, to my own part. We “There's a plantation on York River of 1004. went on with our own plantation, and managed a year; then 1501, in money ; then a sloop load it with the help and direction of such friends as of horses, cows, hogs, and stores," and so on to we got there, and especially the honest Quaker, the thumb again : "and now," says he, "a cargo who proved a faithful, generous, and steady friend that cost 2501, in England, and worth here twice to us, and we had very good success ; for having the money."_“Well,” says I, “what do you a flourishing stock to begin with, as I have said, make of all that ?"_" Make of it!" says he, and this being now increased by the addition of " Why, who says I was deceived when I married an hundred and fifty pounds sterling in money, la wife in Lancashire? I think I have married we enlarged our number of servants, built us a la fortune, and a very good fortune too,” says very good house, and cured every year a great ij ne. deal of land. The second year I wrote to my After I had been a year at home again, I went old governess, giving her part with us of the joy of over the bay to see my son, and to receive another our success, and ordered her how to lay out the year's income of my plantation; and I was surmoney I had left with her, which was two hun- prised to learn, just at my landing there, that my dred and fifty pounds, as above, and to send it to old husband was dead, and had not been buried us in goods, which she performed with her usual | above a forthnight. This, I confess, was not diskindness and fidelity, and all this arrived safe to! agreeable news, because now I could appear as us.
I was, in a married condition. So I told my son, Here we had a supply of all sorts of clothes, before I came from him, that I believed I should as well for, my husband as myself ; and I had marry a gentleman that had a plantation near taken especial care to have bought for him all mine; and though I was legally free to marry as those things that I knew he delighted to have ; to any obligation that was on me before, yet that as *wo good long wigs, two silver-hilted swords, | I was shy of it, lest the blot should some time three or four fowling pieces, a fine saddle with or other be reviyed, and it might make a husband holsters and pistols, very handsome, with a scar uneasy. My gon, the same kind, dutiful, and let cloak, and, in a word, everything I could obliging creature az erer, treated me now at his think of to oblige him, and to make him appear, own house, paid me. my hundred pounds, and as he really was, a very fine gentleman. I had sent me home again loaded with presents. ordered a good quantity of household stuff as we Some time after this I let my son know I was wanted, with linen for us both. As for myself, married, and invited him over to see us, and my I wanted very little of clothes and linen, being husband wrote a very obliging letter to him also, very well furnished before. The rest of my car inviting him to come and see him; and he came go consisted of iron work of all sorts, harness for accordingly some months after. horses, tools, clothes for servants, and woollen It must be observed, that when the old cloth ; stuffs, serges, stockings, shoes, bats, and wretch, my brother (husband), was dead, I then the like, such as servants wear, and whole pieces freely gave my husband an account of all thal alko to make up for servants, all by direction of the affair, and of this cousin, as I called bim before, Quaker ; and all this cargo arrived safe and in being my son, by that mistaken, unhappy match. good condition, with three women servants, lustyll he was perfectly easy in the account, and told
me he should have been as easy if the old man, | husband sixty-eight, having performed much as we called him, had been alive ; “ For,” said more than the limited time of my transportahe, “it was no fault of yours, nor of his ; it tion. And now, notwithstanding all the fatigues was a mistake impossible to be prevented." He and all the miseries we have gone through, we only reproached him with desiring me to conceal are both of us in good heart and health. My it, and to live with him as a wife after I knew husband remained there some time after me to that he was my brother; that, he said, was a vile settle our affairs; and, at first, I had intended part. Thus all these little difficulties were made to go back to him, but at his desire I altered | easy, and we lived together with the greatest that resolution, and he is come over to England kindness and comfort imaginable.
also, where we resolve to spend the remainder We are now grown old. I am come back to of our years in sincere penitence for the wicked England, being almost seventy years of age, my "I lives we have lived.
The misfortunes of De Foe, at a former period, observes Mr Wilson, had thrown him into circumstances which subjected him to the sight of human nature in its lowest and most degraded forms. Whilst immured in prison, he was necessarily brought into contact with persons who were competent to let him into thoso scenes of crime and misery of which his fertile genius availed itself in this and similar publications. The various incidents in the eventful life of Moll Flanders, from the time of her seduction to that of her becoming a convict and a quiet settler in Marylard, are those of real life, as exemplified by multitudes of individuals who have run the career of their vicious propensities. The artless disposition of the narrative, the lively interest excited by unlooked for coincidences, the rich natural painting, the moral reflections, are all so many proofs of the knowledge and invention of the writer; but the facts were furnished him by the annals of Netogate.
From the character of the incidents that compose the present narrative, De Foc was fully aware of the objections that would be urged against it by the scrupulous. To conceal a single fact would have taken so much from the fidelity of the portrait; all that he could do, therefore, was to neutralize the poison by furnishing the strongest antidotes. Accordingly, whilst he paints the courses of an every-day profligate in their natural colours, he shows us with the same faithful. ness their natural tendency; and that, first or last, vice is sure to bring down its own punishment. His villains never prosper, but either come to an untimely end, or are brought to be penitents. In dressing up the present story, he tells us he had taken care to exclude everything that might be offensive ; but conscious that he had a bad subject to work upon, he endeavours to interest the reader in the reflections arising out of it, that the moral might be more enticing than the fable.
The story of Moll Flanders must be allowed to be executed in strict conformity with the writer's intentions. The events of her life are indeed coarse and disgusting, but they are exactly those of a person in her situation, led on from one degree of crime to another, and participating in all the miseries that may be expected to accompany such courses.
If the sale of a book were any criterion of its merit, De Foe had every reason to be satisfied with the work. Two editions were printed in 1721, and a third edition was published by the saine booksellers in 1722, and another in the following year. There were two editions by J. Brotherton; the second in 1741. There is also one with wood-cuts, by C. Simpson, in Stone Cutter street, Fleet market, without a date. These were all in octavo, and there are many in a smailer size. An edition of the work, with many omissions and alterations, was published in 1776, by Francis Noble, who kept a circulating library in Holborn, and reprinted several of De Foe's pieces, with castrations. It professes to be taken from a corrected manuscript of De Foe's, dated Islicgton, December 20, 1730, in which he omitted some parts as unfit for perusal, and gave the whole a new dress. But this is a mere deception. There is no reason for supposing that De Foe left any such papers, nor that he intended his work to be mutilated in the manner performed by his anonymous editor. Besides abridging other parts of her story, the whole of her practices as a thief are omitted, and, consequently, those fine passages that describe her mental conflicts in the silent hour of reflection. She is no convict herself, but accompanies her husband to Virginia, from whence they both return to Ireland, purchase an estate, and pass a sober and religious life. She survires her husband, makes her will, leaving the whole of her property to her brother-in-law, and departs this life a great penitent, the 10th of December, 1722, in the 75th year of her age. The work concluding in this happy manner is entitled “ The history of Lætitia Atkins, vulgarly called Moll Flanders. Published by Mr Daniel De Foe. And from papers found since his decease, it appears greatly altered by himself; and from the said papers the present work is produced. London: printed for the editor, and sold by F. Noble, Holborn, and T. Lowndes, in Fleet street. 1776. 12mo." It contains little more than half the quantity of the original work. The account given of it by the editor is as follows:-"My father was an intimate acquaintance of Mr Daniel De Foe. I had frequently heard him speak of his friend highly to his advantage as a moral writer in many of his publications, and wondered much, after my reading his • Robinson Crusoe,' to find both in his • Roxana' and in his · Moll Flanders' expressions so much beneath him ; but upon a perusal, when I came into possession of the manuscripts of his alterations of both those histories, I acquiesced in the opinion of my father, and, in that opinion, have thought it proper, in their new dress, to introduce them for the entertainment of those who are admirers of nature.”