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gogue and his frantic followers, an account of whose outrageous proceedings will be found elsewhere. The titles of his tracts are, The New Wonder, or a Trip to St Paul's,' by the author of the True Born Englishman ;'' A Letter from Captain Tom to the Mob now raised by Dr Sacheverell ;' and 'Instructions from Rome' in favour of the Pretender, inscribed to the most elevated Don Sacheverellio and his brother Don Higginisco.
About this time, one Cooper, a Yorkshire clergyman of loose morals, contrived to introduce himself to the notice of Lord Wharton; and by avowing the same political opinions as his lordship, hoped to secure his favour, and by that method to procure some preferment in the church. As the man was a stranger to that noble lord, who seems to have been imposed upon by his representations, De Foe, who had become acquainted with his real character, was desirous of undeceiving him upon this point, as well as to spare the church the disgrace of so unholy a pastor. In pursuance of these laudable motives, he transmitted a private letter to Lord Wharton, to whom he appears to have been hitherto unknown. The effect of this communication cannot now be told; but the letter, for which the public, through the medium of Mr Wilson, is indebted to Mr Upcott of the London Institution, is as follows:
“My Lord,-As this is written from a sincere principle of duty, and respect to your Lapp. and just concern for that honest cause your Lapp. is so heartily embarked in, I hope your Lapp. will pardon the forwardness and presumption of the attempt, tho' you should not accept of ye hint. I am not going to offer to yor Lapp. any thing that wants proof, or that shuns sufficient inquiry. I should not have insulted a person of yor Lapp’s. character in that manner. The design is not to speak in y® dark, but to assist truth to come into ye light, and offer something to yr Løpp. for yr Lopp.’s farther and pticular en. quiry and services, and therefore, my Lord, I shall neither conceal from yor Lapp. the story, nor who it is that writes it.
“I have, my Lord, repeated importunitys from some people in ye north, men of honesty and friends to y Lapp's. interest, to acquaint yr Lapp. of the following affair. Their only mistake is that they suppose I have ye honor to be known to yr Lapp., which is their error as it is my misfortune, and my not having that honour is the occasion of my makeing so much preamble to yr Lapp. contrary to my custom in ye world, and for wch I ask yLapp's. pardon. The story is this :
“There is one Cooper, a Clergy Man of or near Leeds, who, if Fame sayes true, is now, or has been lately, applying himself to yi Lapp. either to be entertained in y, Lapp's. service, or to obtain y: Lapp's favour and recommendation to some living, or some other way to be employ'd or advanced by yr Lapp.; and pticularly, it is alledged that he gets himself recommended to y Lapp, as a Low Churchman or a moderate man, and as persecuted and turn’d out by the Vicar on account of his moderation, &c.
“ Now, my Lord, the business of this Letter is to giv yoʻ Lapp. a true acco of ye morals and manners of this man, that yor Lapp. may be inform’d from unquestioned authority what kind of person he is, and nobody then questions but y' Lapp. knows what measures to take either that ye church may not be ill served and further reproach', or yr L'pp's. recommendacon dishonour'd by the most scandalous person alive.
“And my Lord, that yo- Lapp. may not depend upon my single authority, I shall give yo Lapp. his brief character in the words I recd it, and the psons. shall at any time be produced for yor Lapp's. farther satisfaccon.
“ From Leeds, March 22.—This scandalous priest his name is Cooper, he was seen in ye very act, debauching a woman on a Sunday morning, and pticularly, being to administer ye Sacrament the same day, and did also actually administer ye Sacrame in our church that same day (called ye old Church in Leeds). Perjury in several cases can be proved against him, and that in severall places he has been discarded as a common drunkard, and for his being a common swearer our whole town will witness it. For these crymes our Vicar turn'd him out, and deny'd him his pulpit, upon which he is fled to my La Wharton for preferm', and we are told my Lord has given him hope of a liveing, &c.?
“ Thus far my author. There is more in my Letter, but I presume this is enough to prevent yo' Ldpp. being imposed upon-and this I thought it my duty to lay before yo L'pp. If your Lapp. please to hear any more, or that I should make farther enquiry about it, in that, or any thing else for yr Lopp's, service, I shall esteem it my honor to receive y' L'pp's. comands.
“I am, may it please yoʻ Lopp.
“Yo' Lépp's. most humble and obedient Serv', “ From Newington, near Hackney,
“De Fog." “ Apu 7th, 1710."
De Foe, who seems to have had his eyes everywhere, was not unacquainted with the low state of inorals amongst the Yorkshire clergy. In order to awaken the people, and especially the holders of church patronage, to the propriety of decorum in their teachers, he announced the following squid in his “ Review' for January 14, 1710 :—"Just published, “The Northern Worthies : Or a Visitation of the Yorkshire Clergy ;' a Satire humbly dedicated to Parson Plaxton, the Reverend Author of the Yorkshire Racers, To be bought where it is to be sold, and to be sold where it is to be bought : Written for the edification of the Northern Gentry, and to cure them of the Contagion of Priestcraft. In five volumes in Folio. Price 51. 78. 6d., being a very voluminous work.”
In August, 1710, Godolphin was in his turn mạnæuvred out of office by Harley, with the assistance of Mrs Masham. "The unhappy Queen,” says Cunningham, “tired out with the wrangling of scolding women, seduced by the chattering of her physicians, and withal moved with compassion for her brother, having inquired into the strength of parties, not only began to change her ministers, but her measures also.” The Earl of Sunderland had been replaced by Lord Dartmouth; and the other ministers being now removed, Harley was put into the Treasury, and made Chancellor of the Exchequer ; Mr St John, Secretary of State, in the room of Mr Boyle ; the Earl of Rochester, President of the Council ; and Sir Simon Harcourt, Keeper of the Great Seal. The Lieutenancy in London and other places was also changed ; and as the new ministers were suspected of being hostile to the Protestant succession, it was further confirmed by some appointments in favour of persons who were declared friends of the Pretender. “ Mr Harley, to whom it was natural to give fair words to everybody, gained upon many people by his address, who were far from being of his sentiments. He judged it most prudent to proceed with moderation ; and it is said, he persuaded his friends, and the Queen herself, to dissemble many things concerning the Pretender on account of the Duke of Marlborough's forces, and his extraordinary power both at home and abroad. He was also afraid of the authority and inconstancy of the parliament. The Tories therefore resolved that the present parliament should be dissolved, and another called. Mr Harley, who had formed his whole scheme, gave many instructions to divers men of different parties how to reconcile the minds of people to him, and to render them subservient to his measures. Many were inquisitive to know his design; nay, some said he had no design at all, or else, that it was most artfully concealed, lest, by the dissent of any one, the whole combination should be broken. Those who are supposed to know him thoroughly, own that he was averse to the Pretender ; but if we may judge of him by his actions, men of all parties agreed in concluding that his designs were in his favour ; and it is certain that he affected to have it thought so.” As the writer here quoted was well acquainted with Harley, he may be considered a competent judge of his character, as far as the mystery with which it was encircled would allow.
About this time, Hoadley, the celebrated Whig churchman, attacked the Tories in disguise ; and under the semblance of a friend to the party, dealt out some severe censures upon its proceedings. His tract is entitled, “ The Thoughts of an Honest Tory upon the present Proceedings of that Party. In a Letter to a Friend in Town. Lond. 1710. This produced an answer in a similar disguise, called, The Thoughts of an Honest Whig upon the present Proceedings of that Party. In a Letter to a Friend in Town. Lond. 1710.' In the last work, De Foe is held up to censure for writing the
Experiment,' and is loaded with the same reproaches that the Tories had been long dealing out to him. The stale charge of his being supported by the Whigs is brought forward, and an attempt is made to disparage the political doctrines he had long defended in his ‘Reviews. He was also attacked at this time in a libel levelled at Burnet, and called, “The No Church Catechism ;' in which he is made to keep good company. To the question put to the bishop, “What Canons are the support of your Opinions ?” The answer is, “None but two great blunderbusses—the sweetening Review and souring • Observator,' the mouths of cozenage. This of contradiction ; that, general of all corrupt principles and guardian of the good old cause.” It was a cause, however, of which neither of the writers had any need to be ashamed.
The recent turn of public affairs had given a shock to credit that was as embarrassing to the ministers as it was injurious to all parties. Discouraging as were the prospects of De Foe, he was not for sacrificing his country to the interests of party, and was therefore averse to any measure of annoyance that involved so serious a thing as public credit. That his motives might not be mistaken, he says, “I believe no man will deny, that this is the most critical time for any man that writes of public affairs. I know but one man in the world so qualified ; and find him where you will, this must be his character :-He must be one that, searching into the depths of truth, dare speak her aloud in the most dangerous times ; that fears no faces, courts no favours, is subject to no interest, bigotted to no party, and will be a hypocrite for no gain. I will not say I am the man; I leave that to posterity. If I have had any friends, it is amongst those that turned out ; and if I had the power to lead, perhaps, I should bring them all in again, If Tories, Jacobites, High-flyers, and madmen are to come in, I am against them. I ask them no favour, I make no court to them, nor am I going about to please them; and yet I expect not to oblige those that I think the best of.” De Foe here remonstrates with the Whigs for giving in to the national panic, by withdrawing their property from the funds whilst in a state of depression, and thus enriching the Tories at their own expense. This was the more unwise, as the bulk of the stock was in their hands, and by contributing to a further depression, they assisted in their own impoverishment."*
Our author exhorts the Whigs to support the national credit by an appeal to their public spirit. “Let the public affairs go into what hands they will,” says he, “your concern for the nation must not lessen; nor must you do anything that may let in a bloody, Popish, and faithless tyrant upon Europe and upon the Protestant interest. I should be very sorry to see a Tory administration, and the old game of persecution revived among us; to see the toleration broken, the union invaded, the Whigs trampled upon, and the dissenters harassed and plundered as I have seen them ; but if it must come to that hard choice, I had rather see all this than France triumphant, the Queen dethroned, and the Pretender and Popery established. In short, we have but one interest as Englishmen, whatever interest we may have as to parties. And, though I abhor the tyrannical principles of some men among us, yet when it comes to this,-England or France, the Queen or the Pretender, the Church of England or the Church of Rome, the choice is easy to an honest man.” In these sentiments, no one will doubt that De Foe uttered the language of good sense, and of genuine patriotism.
* • Review', vi, 233-235.
It was the opinion of De Foe, that let the ministry be who or what they may, neither we nor they ought to do anything, by way of party-disgust, that may endanger the public safety. In support of this principle he now published a pamphlet, entitled 'An Essay upon Public Credit; being an Inquiry how the Public Credit comes to depend upon the Change of Ministry, or the Dissolutions of Parliaments; and whether it does so or no? London : 1710;' the main object of which is to show, that national credit depends not upon any set of ministers, but may remain safe under all changes, provided the government maintains its character for probity. The work is dexterously written, and calculated to serve the new ministers, although without that ostensible design.
The success which attended the foregoing treatise, induced the author to follow it up soon afterwards by · An Essay upon Loans; or an Argument proving that substantial Funds settled by Parliament, with the Encouragement of Interests, and the Advances of Prompt Payment usually allowed, will bring in Loans of Money to the Exchequer, in spite of all the Conspiracies of Parties to the Contrary. London : 1710 ;' the object of which was to dispel the alarm which still continued in consequence of the backwardness of the Whigs to invest their money in government securities.
Upon the subject of the addresses manufactured by the high church party, preparatory to the change in the ministry, De Foe now published “A new Test of the Sense of the Nation : being a modest Comparison between the Addresses to the late King James and those to her present Majesty, in order to observe how far the Sense of the Nation may be judged by either of them. 1710;' a work which, by a most unaccountable oversight, has been frequently confounded with Oldmixon's Collection of the Addresses that have been presented to the Queen since the impeachment of Dr Henry Sacheverell,” to which mass of nonsense De Foe's work was intended as an antidote, and a most effectual one it is.
Upon the secession of Godolphin, our author waited upon the ex-minister, who obligingly said to him that he had the same good will but not the same power to assist him, and advised him to receive her Majesty's commands from her present confidential advisers when things were settled. Our author's political feelings at this period he himself thus describes :-" I believe everybody that knows me, or has read what I have written on the subject, will know that I have been no friend to the high-church party. I ever did, and still do look upon them to be enemies to the nation's peace, destroyers of all the blessings we hope for, and disturbers of all we possess ; and that the principles these gentlemen pursue, are in their own nature destructive to the liberties of the nation. God knows, I have no personal malice towards any man; but I abhor the principles of slavery, let them come from, or be professed by, whom they will.” Prudence now dietated greater caution in his writings. “I have as little need to embroil myself with the government,” says he, “and am in as ill a case to defend myself against resentment as avy; and therefore, though I shall speak that truth I think myself obliged to speak with as little fear as anybody, yet I shall endeavour to lay it open to as few exceptions as possible.” *
Considering the circumstances of the country, particularly with respect to our foreign relations, De Foe thought that the new ministers would be obliged to pursue the policy of their predecessors. Harley, the chief minister, he knew to be most inclined to the Whigs, and he therefore exults in the idea, that although the Whigs had lost by the accession of the Tories, yet the latter had gained nothing in point of strength; the fallacy
of which notion he lived to see strongly verified. “The constitution," says he, “ is of such a nature, that whoever may be in it, if they are faithful to their duty, it will either find them Whigs, or make them so. This is the reason that the joy of the party is already turned into chagrin ; they cry out that they are betrayed, and are beginning to form new parties."* The new ministers appear to have been as unpalatable to the more violent Tories as they were to the Whigs; a circumstance highly gratifying to De Foe, who used much ingenuity to persuade himself and his readers that their public acts would be conformable to the constitution, and less injurious to the cause of liberty than from their previous conduct he had anticipated. His reliance was chiefly upon Harley, who had been educated a Whig, but made common cause with the Tories as a political malcontent.
These speculations upon the future conduct of the ministers gave no satisfaction either to Whigs or Tories, who united in saying that our author was making court for a place. To this he facetiously replies, “ And what place does he write for? Indeed, I have not yet inquired whether there is a vacancy in the press-yard ; but I know of no place anybody could think I should be writing for, unless it be a place in Newgate. This, indeed, may be the fate of anybody that dares to speak plainly to men in power. But I must tell the kind people, that though I am like to speak as plain English as anybody, yet, perhaps, I may not speak it in such gross terms as they would have it. 'Tis not my way to rail and call names. Some people think no man can serve them but he that flies in the face of government, and they want to have the 'Review' speak so as he may be sure to speak no more. Let such know I understand how to serve their interest without gratifying their humour. They are not so generous a party that any man need covet a gaol in dependence upon their support. If the author gets a place in Newgate, which he is not afraid of in defence of truth, so he knows whose fury will send him there, and who will stand by him when he is there. Teste Delaune, Anno 1684. As to places, I have been now seven years under what we call a Whig government, and have not been a stranger to men in power. I have had the honour to be told I have served the government; the fury of an enraged party has given their testimony to it, and I could produce yet greater; but the man is not alive of whom I have sought preferment or reward. If I have not applied myself for it when, I may say without vanity, I had some pretence, the pretender to this must take me for a fool to think of it now. The commissioners of her majesty's treasury have no reason to think themselves obliged to me, that I move you to support credit. The Whigs, though they are turned out of place, are not turned out of the nation; they have too great a share in the wealth, too great a cargo in the ship, to be careless what becomes of the bottom. Therefore, let the queen put in, or pat out, the nation must be preserved ; and this may be done without courting, or indeed approving, the officers concerned in the management.”+
The enemies of De Foe were unremitting in their attempts to embroil him with the government ; but he was too wary for them. “The case of the new ministry," says he, "and the case of the author of the · Review,' however opposite, stand exactly on the same footing. While they do nothing in breach of the laws, or against the constitution, though I make no court to them on the one hand, yet I have no business to affront them on the other. Vice versa : While I write or speak nothing but truth, and that truth, however plainly, yet with decency and respect, they can have nothing to say to me." It was his opinion, that “ whoever comes into the ministry must recognize the Revolution, and carry on the administration upon that foundation. If they do not,” says he, “we have another language to talk to them. For, let not governors flatter themselves, nor people be dismayed, the Revolution cannot be overthrown in Britain. It is not in the