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government, and the fierce opposition to it tended but to increase the distance.
About this time the wit that had been sported by both parties during the heats occasioned by Sacheverell's trial, was collected together and published in a volume under the following title : “Whig and Tory; or, Wit on both sides. Being a Collection of State Poems upon all remarkable Occurrences, from the Change of the Ministry to this time. By the most eminent Hands of both parties. Second Edition. London : printed for E. Curll. 1713. 8vo. De Foe figures several times in this work.
The next work assigned to De Foe is a ‘Letter to the Dissenters. London, 1714,' the object of which is to withdraw the persons addressed from their political connexion with the Whigs, who had so shamefully deserted them in the bill against Occasional Conformity. The author disclaims on the part of the ministers any intention to favour the Pretender. The pamphlet, artfully written, seems designed to prepare the dissenters for further severities, which in a short time made their appearance.
The nefarious bill brought into the House of Commons by Sir Wm. Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer, “ To prevent the Growth of Schism," the object of which was to shut up all the schools of dissenters throughout the kingdom, and to take out of their hands the education of their own children, formed the theme of De Foe's 'Remedy worse than the Disease ; or, Reasons against passing the Bill for preventing the Growth of Schism. To which is added a brief Discourse of Toleration and Persecution. London, 1714,' a work in which our author pleads the cause of religious liberty with great force and eloquence, and in lively colours exposes the hateful character of intolerance.
Upon the death of Queen Anne (1st August, 1714), the Privy Council immediately assembled, and issued orders for the proclamation of the King (George I), which was performed with the usual solemnities. The suddenness of the event shed a deep gloom over the Jacobites, whose anticipated triumphs were now at once dashed to the ground, for the French King acknowledged the Elector, and declared his intention to keep the peace.
One of the most important consequences resulting from a change of dynasty was the subversion of those political theories which had been hitherto the support of the Tories, but of which they at length grew ashamed ; and which, losing their credit with the people, found refuge only in a few of the clergy. In effecting this change the character of the new government had a great share. Before the arrival of the King, who did not come to England until seven weeks after the Queen's death, Bolingbroke was dismissed with marks of disgrace, and the other ministers were replaced by persons better affected to the Protestant interest, and more agreeable to the wishes of the nation. In the exasperated state of political parties nothing but the severest retaliations were now expected. The Whigs considered the day their own, and began to triumph in the fall of their opponents; all their inisdeeds were immediately dragged to view, and those who had been the most deeply concerned were threatened with exemplary punishment; the most unmanly insults were heaped upon those who were considered in any way accessory to their measures; nor did any escape who had not run the full career of opposition with the Whigs.
Of these attacks our author came in for a full share. His connexion with Lord Oxford was alone sufficient to preclude him from the favour of the Whigs, whilst on other grounds he was equally obnoxious to the Tories and Jacobites. De Foe's position, in fact, was as singular as it was painful. The Hanover Succession, which was a just cause of triumph, and an infinite source of benefit to the Whigs, had not met with a more zealous and effective champion than our author ; yet now, instead of being rewarded for his past services and sufferings, he was discountenanced by the government, and maligned by a party that reaped the advantage of his labours. It was at this period that he lost the
appointment or pension for which he had been indebted to the fallen minister ; and, in short, whilst upon publio grounds he had reason to congratulate his countrymen upon their recent triumph, such was the untowardness of his own fate, that to himself it was only productive of loss and affliction. Of the hard usage that was now dealt out to him he speaks in touching language in his 'Appeal to Honour and Justice.'
Shortly after the Queen's death there appeared a considerable pamphlet, entitled “The Secret History of the White Staff ; being an account of affairs under the conduct of some late Ministers; and of what might probably have happened if her Majesty had not died. London: J. Baker. 1714.' It was followed by a second part, with a similar title, in the same year; and in the year following a third part was added, completing the work. The object of this work, which has been almost universally assigned to De Foc, was to explain the policy pursued by Lord Oxford, from the time of his supplanting the former Whig Ministry, and to elucidate the conduct of his colleagues, until they succeeded in wresting from him the Treasurer's staff of office, a month or two before the Queen died. The work was considered at the time to have been written under the direction of Harley, and the facts it details certainly throw very great light upon the intrigues of his cabinet, which, being composed of persons directly opposed to the views of its chief, produced a long series of conflicts, and a system of counteraction that operated as a check to his policy, and at length undermined his power. The work passed through several editions in a short time, and met with several replies, none of them of any great weight.
De Foe's next publication was a reply to a pamphlet by Atterbury, entitled English Advice to the Freeholders of England,' which was followed by ‘A Hymn to the Mob. London : 1715,' a poem in Pindaric verse, occasioned by the rioting that took place in various parts of England, to demonstrate the loyalty of the High Church party.
De Foe's political life was now drawing to a close. During a period of more than thirty years he had taken an active part in public affairs, either as a warm partisan of liberal politics, or in opposing the factions of the times. In the course of the contest he had been involved in personal quarrels, and had met with some severe disasters; but the fortitude of his mind at all times rose superior to his difficulties, and enabled him to triumph in the rectitude of his principles. He had now arrived at a period of life when the mind seeks repose from the turbulence of faction; and the course of political events having thrown him in the back-ground, he beat out a new path to fame.
In withdrawing from the tumult of parties, De Foe considered that he had an account to settle with the world, for the part he had taken in politics. The ill usage he had so | long experienced both from friends and enemies, but more particularly the former, whose ingratitude touched him most sensibly, was greatly aggravated by the misconstruction that had been put upon his writings. This now led him to take a review of his political life, and produced a narrative distinguished for its simplicity and manliness, whilst it furnishes a satisfactory defence of his conduct. It is entitled, “An Appeal to Honour and Justice, though it be of his worst Enemies. By Daniel De Foe. Being a true Account of his Conduct in Public Affairs. London, 1715.
Whilst engaged upon this narrative, and before he had fully completed it, De Foe was struck with apoplexy. The ill-treatment he had experienced preyed so much upon his spirits as to undermine his health, and, in the opinion of his friends, was the accelerating cause of this calamity. After languishing six months, with an uncertain prospect of recovery, his friends determined to delay the publication no longer. It therefore appeared without his finishing hand; but Baker, the publisher, added a paragraph by way of conclusion, in which he noticed the author's illness as the occasion of the delay.
The close of De Foe's political life was in truth the beginning of his greatness; in the retirement which he now quitted no more, the leisure of his active spirit was occupied in the creation of a series of works, which raised his name immeasurably higher than it had ever been before in the opinion of his contemporaries, and which will preserve that name in freshness and honour so long as the language in which they are written endures; so long as penetration, wit, genius, and eloquence, preserve their place in the estimation of mankind. The rapidity with which these, the best and greatest of De Foe's works, followed each other into the world, after he had got fairly into the vein of composing them, is a sufficient proof, not only of the extraordinary fertility of his mind, but that he now possessed undisturbed quiet, wherein to call out and employ with uniform zeal and success all its manifold resources. From the point of time at which
Robinson Crusoe' was published down to the death of De Foe, in 1731, almost the only incidents that mark the progress of the author's history are the successive appearances of the new works produced in his retirement. From a single circumstance or two indeed, which will be noticed, it appears that, though he almost entirely dropped politics, he still retained some little occasional hankerings after the more active pursuits of commerce. Among other speculations, he had at one time a lease of a farm, but we find him soon after disposing of it.
De Foe, the truth of the matter is, was now perhaps too much of an author to be able to succeed in anything but authorship ; book-making was his trade, and he considered it as such, carrying into it all the strength of his mind in all its varieties of operation ; exerting to the utmost his power as a creative genius, under the direction of a most acute and sagacious judgment, which very seldom misled him into any unfertile or unfortunate path of exertion. It is, on the whole, rarely that we meet in the whole course of the history of literature with anything at all resembling this last part of the career of De Foe. Men who possess that force and fire of fancy requisite for the striking out of new ways and species for themselves, are most commonly persons of so much delicacy of temperament that they can comparatively seldom bring themselves to the labour of exerting their faculties to the full. After producing one work, or a few works, by which they conceive themselves to have sufficiently exhibited their power and secured their fame, they slumber over the embers which they will not arouse themselves to blow, and allow the fire they might have kept bright and blazing to be smothered under the ashes of indolence. But our own literary history, more so indeed than that of any other nation, furnishes some splendid exceptions to this rule, both in past times and in the present, and of these De Foe must ever be considered one of the most illustrious.
The state of his worldly circumstances must, without doubt, be reckoned among the chief incentives of his extraordinary diligence. In all the works of De Foe we find the impress of a mind accustomed to find delight in the occupations of the world, to participate with a lively interest in the ordinary business, and pleasures, and recreations of mankind. Had he been possessed of an independent fortune, it is very probable he might have spent his time with pleasure to himself, as he certainly would with all advantage to those about bim, in the amusements of life, without devoting anything like so great a portion of his days and nights to the labours of solitary meditation and composition. But in the toil to which he was at first stimulated by his necessities, who can doubt that he soon came to find his most unfailing source of happinessan inexhaustible source, which might well atone to him for the loss of others less rich and less peculiar? The delight and the excitement with which we still pursue his works, is only the dim shadow and reflection of the more intense pleasure he must have tasted in
conceiving and creating them. Book-making in the hands of a dull man is the worst and the most degrading of all drudgeries ; in the hands of a De Foe it changes its character, and becomes the noblest and the most delightful of all possible occupations. Having acquired by long practice the most perfect ease in the use of his instruments, and having the possession of an intellectual mine no less deep than broad, the work of production was to him scarcely a work, repaid as it already was (to say nothing of its after rewards) by the perpetual delights of conscious acquisition and extended power. We sometimes hear people expressing wonder that a great author should take the trouble to write so much ; and authors themselves, of the mediocre class, are the very people from whom we most frequently hear this language. With them composition is a task and a toil, and they suppose that it is the same with all men ; as the heavy fowl that with difficulty swings across the farm-yard may perhaps regard with wonder, if not with pity, the perpetual, unwearied soarings of the “bird of Jove.” The success attending the series of works which De Foe now sent forth soon raised him far above the effects of the idle malignity of such as would fain have been his rivals. He held in his hands larger means of gratifying the larger part of the reading public of the day than any one of his contemporaries, and in the use of these means he was as indefatigable as he was happy in their possession. He became, in a word, in spite of all they said or did, a British Classic in the noblest sense of that term, in the universal estimation of his countrymen, and such he has continued, and must ever continue to be.
Quitting, then, the ungrateful field of politics, De Foe now turned his attention to a class of subjects with which all parties must be pleased, and from which they might derive wholesome lessons to soften their asperities and cultivate the best affections of the heart; and in the early part of 1715 he committed to the press one of the most valuable of his treatises, and perhaps one of the must useful of its kind in the English language. It bears the title of “The Family Instructor, in three parts. With a recommendatory Letter by the Rev. S. Wright. London : 1715. The main object of this performance is to impress upon the heads of families the great duty of instructing their children and dependents in the principles of religion and virtue ; and to inculcate upon the latter the obligations they are under to listen to such instructions. As a system of morals, founded upon natural and revealed religion, it has found its way to the hearts of thousands, and will continue to instruct mankind so long as practical religion shall be deemed of importance to society. One of the chief excellencies of the work is, that it is adapted to persons of all religious persuasions. There is nothing to shock the prejudices either of Churchmen or of Dissenters, but much from which both may derive lessons of sound wisdom. De Foc's polemical talents are brought to bear to very good purpose in this performance, which is in the form of dialogues ; and it is curious to mark the eagerness with which his pen, after having been taken up for so many years with dry debates and doctrinal points, flies for relief to the details and incidents of private life. His mind was equally tenacious of facts and arguments, and fastened on each in its turn with the same strong and unremitting grasp. Although our author does not seem to have received any favour or encouragement from the Court of George I, yet the acknowledged merit of this work occasioned it to find its way into the King's family, and the copy by which they were instructed is still preserved in the British Museum. By 1722 no fewer than eight editions had been disposed of, and there was an eleventh edition in 1734, since which tiine the reprints, in London and elsewhere, have been very numerous. Large numbers have been disposed of for prize-books in schools, for which it is well adapted ; nor can a more useful book be found for general distribution. De Foe added a second volume three years afterwards, as will be seen in the proper place.
About this period, also, De Foe issued a series of four excellent pamphlets, couched in the Quaker style, and written by way of admouition to the persons addressed. The title of the first of these tracts is, ' A Friendly Epistle by way of Reproof, from one of the People called Quakers, to Thomas Bradbury, a Dealer in many Words. London: 1715.' The object of this address was to divert the preacher from the pursuit of politics in the pulpit, particularly in calling for the blood of the late ministers, and to exhort him to direct his zeal against the dissensions of the times. Next came . A Sharp Rebuke from one of the People called Quakers, to Henry Sacheverell, the High-Priest of St Andrew's, Holborn. 1715.' This is a reproof to Sacheverell for the absurd stir he had made for the church in the late reign; and also for his continued proceedings, which had no other , object than to breed riots and to alienate the affections of the people from the new government. The wickedness of his past life is glanced at for the purpose of awakening his conscience and instructing his followers ; his public misdeeds in reference to King William, the Pretender, and the reigning Sovereign, are also brought to light ; and he is exhorted to repent and abandon the projects of the Tories, whose cause was now hopeless. The third pamphlet is · A Seasonable Expostulation with, and Friendly Reproof "unto, James Butler, who, by the Men of this World, is styled Duke of 0- d, relating , to the Tumults of the People. London : 1715.' The Duke of Ormond, who had entered | deeply into the projects of the Jacobites, was then the idol of the High Church mob, and was suspected of courting popularity by acts of indiscretion at a time when he was under the frowns of the government. The writer here counsels him to take heed lest he should suffer by the acts of evil men, who made use of his name for factious purposes. | Last of this series came 'A Declaration of Truth to Benjamin Hoadley, one of the High Priests of the Land, and of the Degree whom Men call Bishops. In this work Hoadley is commended for his manly avowal of the truth in his celebrated sermon before the | King concerning the nature and objects of Christ's kingdom ; which he declared to be a spiritual constitution, not cognizable by temporal pains and penalties annexed by
ecclesiastics to the churches of this world. i In 1716 there appeared a work of a miscellaneous nature, embracing a variety of ; topics relating to the public interest, and interspersed with judicious remarks, entitled , 'Thoughts on Trade and a Public Spirit. 1716. This work, which has been, on very good grounds, assigned to De Foe, is an excellent treatise, abounding in just sentiments, and enlivened by many striking examples illustrating the various topics of which it treats. It also contains much useful information concerning the execution of the laws, the conduct of official persons, and the abuses in public trusts. The author writes like a sensible and judicious man, anxious to remedy the evils he complains of, which are only to be cured by the exercise of a public spirit. He has also many excellent remarks of a moral nature, designed to enforce such a public spirit, the value of which he illustrates by some striking examples.
In* a former part of his life, some connexion had subsisted between our author and Dunton, the projector. The jealousy of the latter had led to some occasional sparring, which, however, does not appear to have detracted from his respect four De Foe, to whose character he pays homage in various parts of his works, though his name nowhere occurs in any of De Foe's writings. Their intercourse appears to have been renewed at this time ; for we find amongst the Rawlinson MSS., in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the rough draught of 'Articles of Agreement between Daniel Do Foe and John Dunton, for writing a Weekly Paper, to be entitled “ The Ha
nover Spy.” Dated Oct. 28, 1717. This project, however, does not appear to have been 1 eiecuted.
Our author next published Memoirs of the Church of Scotland. In Four Periods. : 1. The Church in her Infant State, from the Reformation to the Queen Mary's Abdication.
2. The Church in its Growing State. from the Abdication to the Restoration. 3. The | Church in its Persecuted State from the Restoration to the Revolution. 4. The Church