by Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
And thus I got over the fraud of passing for a fortune without money, and cheating a man into marrying me on pretence of a fortune; which, by the way, I take to be one of the most dangerous steps a woman can take, and in which she runs the most hazard of being ill-used afterwards. (317)
Check out all the words used here that refer to cheating: "fraud," "passing," "cheating," "pretense," and "hazard." It's not all fun and games (although "hazard" can also refer to a kind of game, by the way). This is really serious stuff, and Moll could get in major trouble if she's caught.
As he had furnished me very sufficiently with money for the extraordinary expenses of my lying in, I had everything very handsome about me, but did not affect to be gay or extravagant neither; besides, knowing my own circumstances, and knowing the world as I had done, and that such kind of things do not often last long, I took care to lay up as much money as I could for a wet day, as I called it; making him believe it was all spent upon the extraordinary appearance of things in my lying in. (440)
If you had any doubts about Moll's resourcefulness, well this should get rid of them. She's saving for a rainy day. This just might be the one place in the novel where she sets a good example for her readers.
This grave matron had several sorts of practice, and this was one particular, that if a child was born, though not in her house (for she had occasion to be called to many private labours), she had people at hand, who for a piece of money would take the child off their hands, and off from the hands of the parish too; and those children, as she said, were honestly provided for and taken care of. What should become of them all, considering so many, as by her account she was concerned with, I cannot conceive. (651)
Moll puns on the word "account" here. It means both the amount of money the midwife is pulling in as well as her story about where all of that money is coming from. There's a similar pun at the end where Moll says she can't "conceive" of what happens to all these children – but conception of her own child is exactly what forced her to end up at the mercy of the midwife. Moll has such a way with words.