“One Day after this as she came into the Room where all we poor children were at Work, she sat down just over against me, not in her usual place as Mistress, but as if she set herself on purpose to observe me and see me Work: I was doing something she had set me do as I remember, it was Marking some Shirts which she had taken to Make, and after a while she began to Talk to me: Thou foolish Child, says she, thou art always Crying; (for I was Crying then) Prithee, What dost Cry for? Because they will take me away, says I, and put me to Service, and I can't Work House-Work; well Child, says she, but tho' you can't Work House-Work, as you call it, you will learn it in time, and they won't put you to hard Things at first; yes they will says I, and if I can't do it they will Beat me, and the Maids will Beat me and make me do great Work, and I am but a little girl, and I can't do it, and then I cry'd again till I could not speak any more to her.” / Style is an essential characteristic of the modern novel. In the passage above, from Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, it is not narrative technique so much as the style - syntax, and the selection, arrangement and use of words - that is crucial to Moll's portrayal of herself as a child. Verbal repetition ('thou art always Crying; (for I was Crying then)') and paratactically arranged sentences or phrases ('and I am but a little girl, and I can't do it, and then I cry'd again') link the spoken dialogue of Moll's recollection to her present discourse. The expression of these sentences has a childish quality, even though it is really the adult Moll Flanders who is telling the story. That effect in Defoe is related to an identifiable stylistic device that is common to the point of being almost ubiquitous in fiction in German, Russian and the romance languages, as well as in English.