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Everybody's Business Is Nobody's Business - Preface

1. Preface

2. Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business

In the Pride, Insolence, and exorbitant Wages of our Women,
Servants, Footmen, &c.

by Daniel Defoe


A Proposal for Amendment of the same; as also for clearing the
Streets of those Vermin called Shoe-Cleaners, and substituting in
their stead many Thousands of industrious Poor, now ready to
starve. With divers other Hints of great Use to the Public.

Humbly submitted the Consideration of our Legislature, and the
careful Perusal of all Masters and Mistresses of Families.


The Fifth Edition, with the Addition of a Preface.


Since this little book appeared in print, it has had no less than
three answers, and fresh attacks are daily expected from the powers
of Grub-street; but should threescore antagonists more arise,
unless they say more to the purpose than the forementioned, they
shall not tempt me to reply.

Nor shall I engage in a paper war, but leave my book to answer for
itself, having advanced nothing therein but evident truths, and
incontestible matters of fact.

The general objection is against my style; I do not set up for an
author, but write only to be understood, no matter how plain.

As my intentions are good, so have they had the good fortune to
meet with approbation from the sober and substantial part of
mankind; as for the vicious and vagabond, their ill-will is my

It is with uncommon satisfaction I see the magistracy begin to put
the laws against vagabonds in force with the utmost vigour, a great
many of those vermin, the japanners, having lately been taken up
and sent to the several work-houses in and about this city; and
indeed high time, for they grow every day more and more pernicious.

My project for putting watchmen under commissioners, will, I hope,
be put in practice; for it is scarce safe to go by water unless you
know your man.

As for the maid-servants, if I undervalue myself to take notice of
them, as they are pleased to say, it is because they overvalue
themselves so much they ought to be taken notice of.

This makes the guilty take my subject by the wrong end, but any
impartial reader may find, I write not against servants, but bad
servants; not against wages, but exorbitant wages, and am entirely
of the poet's opinion,

The good should meet with favour and applause,
The wicked be restrain'd by wholesome laws.

The reason why I did not publish this book till the end of the last
sessions of parliament was, because I did not care to interfere
with more momentous affairs; but leave it to the consideration of
that august body during this recess, against the next sessions,
when I shall exhibit another complaint against a growing abuse, for
which I doubt not but to receive their approbation and the thanks
of all honest men.

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