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The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
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and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little
altered; particularly she is made to tell her own tale in modester
words that she told it at first, the copy which came first to
hand having been written in language more like one still in
Newgate than one grown penitent and humble, as she
afterwards pretends to be.

The pen employed in finishing her story, and making it what
you now see it to be, has had no little difficulty to put it into
a dress fit to be seen, and to make it speak language fit to be
read. When a woman debauched from her youth, nay, even
being the offspring of debauchery and vice, comes to give an
account of all her vicious practices, and even to descend to the
particular occasions and circumstances by which she ran through
in threescore years, an author must be hard put to it wrap it
up so clean as not to give room, especially for vicious readers,
to turn it to his disadvantage.

All possible care, however, has been taken to give no lewd
ideas, no immodest turns in the new dressing up of this story;
no, not to the worst parts of her expressions. To this purpose
some of the vicious part of her life, which could not be
modestly told, is quite left out, and several other parts are
very much shortened. What is left 'tis hoped will not offend
the chastest reader or the modest hearer; and as the best use
is made even of the worst story, the moral 'tis hoped will keep
the reader serious, even where the story might incline him to
be otherwise. To give the history of a wicked life repented of,
necessarily requires that the wicked part should be make as
wicked as the real history of it will bear, to illustrate and give