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ber of that eminent corporation. As he had endeavoured to promote the revolution by his pen and his sword, he had the satisfaction of partaking, ere long, in the pleasures and advantages of that great event. During the hilarity of that moment, the Lord Mayor of London asked King William to partake of the city feast on the 29th of October, 1689. Every honour was paid the Sovereign of the people's choice. A regiment of volunteers, composed of the chief citizens, and commanded by the celebrated Earl of Peterborough, attended the Kiong and Queen from Whitehall to the Mansiom Heuse.. Among these troopers, gallantly mounted, and richly accoutred, was Daniel De Foe, if we may believe Oldmixon *.
While our author thus displayed his zeal, and courted notice, he is said to have acted as a hosier in Freeman's Yard, Cornhill : but the hosiert and the poet are very irreconcileable characters. With the usual imprudence of superior genius, he was carried by his vivacity into companies who were gratified by his wit. He spent those hours with a small society for the cultivation of polite learning, which he ought to have employed in the calculations of the counting-house: and being obliged to abscond from his creditors in 1692, he naturally attri
* Hift. vol. ii. p. 37.
+ Being reproached by Tutchin in his Observator with having been bred an apprentice to a hosier, De Foe asserts, in May 1705, that he never was a hosier, or an apprentice, but admits that he had been a Trader. [Review, vol. ii. p. 149.] Oldmixon, who never speaks favourably of De Foe, allows that he had never been a merchant otherwise than peddling a little to Portugal. Hift. vol. ii. p. 519.-But, Peddling to Portugal makes a Trader.
buted those misfortunes to the war, which were pro. bably owing to his own misconduct. An angry creditor took out a conimission of bankruptcy, which was soon fuperseded on the petition of those to whom he was most indebted, who accepted a composition on his single bond. This he punctually paid by the efforts of unwearied diligence. But some of those creditors, who had been thus satisfied, falling afterwards into distress themselves, De Foe voluntarily paid them their whole claims; being then, in rilinse circumstances from King William's favo; r*. T w ** (u;h wi example of honesty, as it wouil ba uraft to De Foe and to the world to conceal. Being reproached in 1705 by Lord Haversham with mercenariness, our author feelingly mentions ; " How, with a numerous family, and no helps but his own industry, he had forced his way with undiscouraged diligence, through a fea of misfortunes, and reduced his debts, exclusive of composition, from seventeen thousand to less than five thousand pounds +.” He continued to carry on the pan-tile works near Tilbury-fort; though probably with no great success. It was afterwards sarcastically faid, that he did not, like the Egyptians, require bricks without straw, but, like the Jews, required bricks without paying his labourers. He was born for other enterprises, which, if they did not gain him opulence, have conferred a renown, that will descend the stream of time with the language wherein his works are written.
While he was yet under thirty, and had mortified "no great man by his fatire, or offended any party
* The Mercator, No. 101.-t Reply to Lord Haversham's Vindication.
by his pamphlets, he had acquired friends by his powers of pleasing, who did not, with the usual inftability of friendships, desert him amidst his distres. ses. They offered to settle him as a factor at Cadiz, where, as a trader, he had some previous correspond
In this situation he might have procured bufiness by his care, and accumulated wealth without a risque: but, as he assures us in his old age, Providence, which had other work for him to do, placed
secret aversion in his mind to quitting England. He had confidence enough in his own talents to think, that on this field he could gather laurels, or at least gain a livelihood.
In a projecting age, as our Author denominates King William’s reign, he was himself a projector. While he was yet young, De Foe was prompted by a vigorous mind to think of many schemes, and to offer, what was most pleasing to the ruling powers, ways and means for carrying on the war. as he says, many Sheets aboui the coin; he proposed a register for seamen, long before the act of Parliament was thought of; , he projected county banks and factories for goods ; he mentioned a proposal for a commision of inquiries into bankrupt's estates ; he contrived a pension-office for the relief of the poor. At length, in January 1696-7, he published his Eljay upon Projects ; which he dedicated to Dalby Thomas, not as a Commissioner of glass duties, under whom he then served, or as a friend, to whom he acknowledges obligations ; but as to the most pro. per judge on the subject. It is always curious to trace a thought, in order to see where it first originated, or how it was afterwards expanded. Among other projects, which shew a wide range of know
ledge, he suggests to King William the imitation of Lewis 14th, in the establishment of a society encouraging polite learning, for refining the English language, and for preventing barbarisms of manners. Prior offered in 1700 the fame project to King William, in his Carmen Seculare; Swift mentioned in 1710 to Lord Oxford a proposal for improving' the English tongue; and Tickell flatters himself in his Prospect of Peace, that our daring languageShall sport no more in arbitrary found. However his projects were taken, certain it is, that when De Foe ceased to be a trader, he was, by the interposition of Dalby Thomas probably, appointed in 1695, accomptant to the Commissioners for managing the duties on glass; who, with our Author ceased to act, on the first of August, 1699, when the tax was suppressed by act of Parliament *.
Frem projects of ways and means, De Foe's ardour foon carried him into the thorny paths of fatiric poetry; and his muse produced, in January 1700—1, The True-born Englishman. Of the origin of this satire, which was the cause of much good fortune, but of some disasters, he gives himself the following account:---.“ During this time came out an abhorred pamphlet, in very ill verse, written by one Mr. Tutchin, and called The Foreigners : in which the Author, who he was I then knew not, fell personally upon the King, then upon the Dutch nation, and, after having reproached his Majesty with crimes that his worst enemies could not think of without horror, he sums up all in the odious name of FOREIGNER. This filled me with a kind of rage against the book, and gave birth to a trifle,
10-11 Wm. III. ch. 18.
which I never could hope should have met with so general an acceptation.” The fale was prodigious, and probably unexampled; as Sacheverel's trial had not then appeared. The True-born Englishman was answered, paragraph by paragraph, in February 1700-1, by a writer, who brings haste to apologize for dulness.
For this Defence of King William and the Dutch, which was doubtless circulated by detraction and by power, De Foe was amply rewarded.
66 How this poem was the occasion,” says he, “ of my being known to his Majesty; how I was afterwards received by him; how employed abroad; and how, above my capacity of deserving, rewarded, is no part of the present case.” Of the particulars, which the Author thus declined to tell, nothing now can be told. It is only certain, that he was admitted to personal interviews with the King, who was no reader of poetry; and that for the Royal favours De Foe was always grateful.
When “ the pen and ink war was raised against a standing army," subsequent to the peace of Ryfwick, our Author published AN ARGUMENT, to prove that a standing army, with consent of Parliament, is not inconsistent with a free government. “ Liberty and property," says he, “ are the glorious attributes of the English nation; and the dearer they are to us, the less danger we are in of losing them: but I could never yet see it proved, that the danger of losing them by a small army was such, as we should expose ourselves to all the world for it. It is not the King of England alone, but the sword of England in the hand of the King, that gives laws of peace and war now to Europe: and those who would thus wrest the sword out of his hand in time of peace, bid the fairest of all men