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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe


abundantly atones for all the lively description she gives of her
folly and wickedness.

The repentance of her lover at the Bath, and how brought by
the just alarm of his fit of sickness to abandon her; the just
caution given there against even the lawful intimacies of the
dearest friends, and how unable they are to preserve the most
solemn resolutions of virtue without divine assistance; these
are parts which, to a just discernment, will appear to have
more real beauty in them all the amorous chain of story which
introduces it.

In a word, as the whole relation is carefully garbled of all the
levity and looseness that was in it, so it all applied, and with
the utmost care, to virtuous and religious uses. None can,
without being guilty of manifest injustice, cast any reproach
upon it, or upon our design in publishing it.

The advocates for the stage have, in all ages, made this the
great argument to persuade people that their plays are useful,
and that they ought to be allowed in the most civilised and in
the most religious government; namely, that they are applied
to virtuous purposes, and that by the most lively representations,
they fail not to recommend virtue and generous principles, and
to discourage and expose all sorts of vice and corruption of
manners; and were it true that they did so, and that they
constantly adhered to that rule, as the test of their acting on
the theatre, much might be said in their favour.

Throughout the infinite variety of this book, this fundamental
is most strictly adhered to; there is not a wicked action in any
part of it, but is first and last rendered unhappy and unfortunate;
there is not a superlative villain brought upon the stage, but
either he is brought to an unhappy end, or brought to be a
penitent; there is not an ill thing mentioned but it is condemned,
even in the relation, nor a virtuous, just thing but it carries its
praise along with it. What can more exactly answer the rule
laid down, to recommend even those representations of things
which have so many other just objections leaving against them?
namely, of example, of bad company, obscene language, and
the like.

Upon this foundation this book is recommended to the reader
as a work from every part of which something may be learned,
and some just and religious inference is drawn, by which the
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe



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