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


way, as it is called, for decency sake, would consider that 'tis
only a contrived method for murder; that is to say, a-killing
their children with safety.

It is manifest to all that understand anything of children, that
we are born into the world helpless, and incapable either to
supply our own wants or so much as make them known; and
that without help we must perish; and this help requires not
only an assisting hand, whether of the mother or somebody
else, but there are two things necessary in that assisting hand,
that is, care and skill; without both which, half the children
that are born would die, nay, thought they were not to be
denied food; and one half more of those that remained would
be cripples or fools, lose their limbs, and perhaps their sense.

I question not but that these are partly the reasons why affection
was placed by nature in the hearts of mothers to their children;
without which they would never be able to give themselves up,
as 'tis necessary they should, to the care and waking pains
needful to the support of their children.

Since this care is needful to the life of children, to neglect them
is to murder them; again, to give them up to be managed by
those people who have none of that needful affection placed
by nature in them, is to neglect them in the highest degree; nay,
in some it goes farther, and is a neglect in order to their being
lost; so that 'tis even an intentional murder, whether the child
lives or dies.

All those things represented themselves to my view, and that
is the blackest and most frightful form: and as I was very free
with my governess, whom I had now learned to call mother,
I represented to her all the dark thoughts which I had upon
me about it, and told her what distress I was in. She seemed
graver by much at this part than at the other; but as she was
hardened in these things beyond all possibility of being touched
with the religious part, and the scruples about the murder, so
she was equally impenetrable in that part which related to
affection. She asked me if she had not been careful and tender
to me in my lying in, as if I had been her own child. I told her
I owned she had. 'Well, my dear,' says she, 'and when you
are gone, what are you to me? And what would it be to me
if you were to be hanged? Do you think there are not women
who, as it is their trade and they get their bread by it, value
themselves upon their being as careful of children as their own
mothers can be, and understand it rather better? Yes, yes,
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe



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