life. Only in low life can the primitive man be run to earth, he who is the special quarry of the naturalist, who is less interested in social man, or man as thinker, lover, idealist. If the naturalist represents him in society, it is usually in a state of war with society; the primordial man and his struggle for existence are still the subject. So the naturalist descends inevitably to the criminal classes, because the man whose nature has not been refashioned by the influence of society and thought, is there seen unrestrained, except by external forces, from taking the most direct means to win himself subsistence, pleasure, predominance. He follows the elemental instincts, because he remains in the primitive stage.
Defoe's history of Roxana probably ended with her marriage to the merchant who buys her the title of countess, and takes her to Holland. There, says Roxana, 'after some few years of flourishing and outwardly happy circumstances, I fell into a dreadful course of calamities.' The continuation supplied by an edition in 1745, twenty-one years after the first edition, and fourteen after the death of Defoe—one of several continuations by various hands—is reprinted here. Divers inconsistencies indicate that it is spurious. The dark hints of the original story as to the fate of the daughter Susanna, who, we are led to believe, was made away in some mysterious manner by the faithful Amy, are forgotten, and Susanna is brought on the scene again. And, as Mr. Aitken points out, the austere husband who leaves Roxana to want is not the easy-going man to whom she was married by Defoe. The statement that she died at Amsterdam in 1742, in her sixty-fifth year is at variance with Defoe, who makes her ten years old in 1683, and therefore sixty-nine in 1742 (not fifty-nine, Mr. Aitken). But, of course, his own dates are obviously wrong, since Charles II., to whom she is said to have given an entertainment, died in 1685, when she was only twelve years old, according to Defoe (not two, as Mr. Aitken puts it). On the other hand it cannot be denied that Defoe himself was singularly careless in chronological and other details. When Roxana's first husband decamps, she states distinctly:—
'It must be a little surprising to the reader to tell him at once, that after this I never saw my husband more; but, to go farther, I not only never saw him more, but I never heard from him, or of him, neither of any or either of his two servants, or of the horses, either what became of them, where or which way they went, or what they did or intended to do, no more than if the ground had opened and swallowed them all up, and nobody had known it, except as hereafter.'
But the following passage, a few years later, is a direct contradiction to this:—
'After we had seen the king, who did not stay long in the gardens, we walked up the broad terrace, and crossing the hall towards the great staircase, I had a sight which confounded me