An essay upon projects, by Daniel Defoe

The Conclusion.

Upon a review of the several chapters of this book I find that, instead of being able to go further, some things may have suffered for want of being fully expressed; which if any person object against, I only say, I cannot now avoid it. I have endeavoured to keep to my title, and offered but an essay; which any one is at liberty to go on with as they please, for I can promise no supplement. As to errors of opinion, though I am not yet convinced of any, yet I nowhere pretend to infallibility. However, I do not willingly assert anything which I have not good grounds for. If I am mistaken, let him that finds the error inform the world better, and never trouble himself to animadvert upon this, since I assure him I shall not enter into any pen-and-ink contest on the matter.

As to objections which may lie against any of the proposals made in this book, I have in some places mentioned such as occurred to my thoughts. I shall never assume that arrogance to pretend no other or further objections may be raised; but I do really believe no such objection can be raised as will overthrow any scheme here laid down so as to render the thing impracticable. Neither do I think but that all men will acknowledge most of the proposals in this book would be of as great, and perhaps greater, advantage to the public than I have pretended to.

As for such who read books only to find out the author’s faux pas, who will quarrel at the meanness of style, errors of pointing, dulness of expression, or the like, I have but little to say to them. I thought I had corrected it very carefully, and yet some mispointings and small errors have slipped me, which it is too late to help. As to language, I have been rather careful to make it speak English suitable to the manner of the story than to dress it up with exactness of style, choosing rather to have it free and familiar, according to the nature of essays, than to strain at a perfection of language which I rather wish for than pretend to be master of.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37