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to procure him the arrears due to him in the time of the former Ministry. This appointment, whatever it were, he is studious to tell, he originally owed Harley: he, however, thankfully acknowledges, that Lord Godolphin continued his favour to him after the unhappy breach that separated his first benefactor from the Minister, who continued in
power till August 1710.
The nation, which was filled with combustible matter, burst into flame the moment of that memorable feparation, in 1707.
In the midst of this conflagration our Author was not inactive. He waited on Harley after he had been driven from power, who generously advised him to continue his services to the Queen, which he supposed would have no relation to personal differences among statesmen. Godolphin received him with equal kindness, by faying—I always think a man honest till I find to the contrary. And if we may credit De Foe's asseverations, in the presence of tho'e who could have convicted him of falsehood, he for three
years held no correspondence with his principal benefactor, which the great man never took ill of him.
As early as February 1706-7, De Foe avowed his purpose to publish the History of the Union, which he had ably assisted to accomplish. This design he executed in 1709, though he was engaged in other lucubrations, and gave the world a Review three times a week. His history seems to have been little noticed when it first appeared; for, as the preface states, it had many difficulties in the way; many factions to encounter, and parties to please. Yet it was republished in 1712; and a third time ini 1786, when a similar union had become the topic
of public debate and private conversation. subject of this work is the completion of a measure, which was carried into effect, notwithstanding obstructions apparently insurmountable, and tumults approaching to rebellion, and which has produced the ends designed, beyond expectation, whether weconsider its influence on the Government, or its operationon the governed. The minuteness with which he defcribes what he saw and heard on the turbulent stage, where he acted a conspicuous part; is extremely interesting to us, who wish to know what actually passed, however this circumstantiality may have disgusted contemporaneous readers. History is chiefly valuable as it transmits a faithful copy of the manners and sentiments of every age. This narrative of De Foe is a drama, in which he introduces the highest peers and the lowest peasants, speaking and acting, according as they were each actuated by their characteristic passions; and while the man of taste is amused by his manner, the man of business may draw instruction from the documents, which are appended to the end, and interspersed in every page. This publication had alone preserved his name, had his Crusoe pleased us less.
De Foe published in 1709, what indeed required less effort of the intellect or the hand, The History of Addresses ; with no design, he says, and as we may believe, to disturb the public peace, but to compare the present tempers of men with the past, in order to discover who had altered for the better, and who for the worse. He gave a second volume of Arla dresses in 1711, with remarks serious and comical. His purpose plainly was to abate, by ridicule, the public fervour with regard to Sacheverel, who, by VOL. II. Dd
I know not what fatality, or folly, gave rise to eventful changes. De Foe evinces, by these timeful publications, that amidst all that enthufiasm and tumult, he preserved his senses, and adhered to his principles.
When, by such imprudence as the world had never feen before, Godolphin was in his turn expelled, in August 1710, our Author waited on the ex-minister; who obligingly said to him, That he had the same good-will, but not the same power to asit bim : and Godolphin told him, what was of more real use to receive the Queen's commands from her confidential fervants, when he saw things settled. It naturally occurred to De Foe, that it was his duty to go along with the Ministers, while, as he says, they did not break in on the constitution. And who can blame a very subordinate officer, (if indeed he held an office), who had a wife and fix children to maintain with very precarious means? He was thus, says he, cast back providentially on his first benefactor, who laid his case before her Majesty, whereby he preferved his interest, without any engagement. On that memorable change De Foe however somewhat changed his tone. The method I shall take, says he*, in talking of the public affairs, shall for the future be, though with the fame defign to support truth, yet with more caution of embroiling myself with a party, who have no mercy, and who have no sense of service.
De Foe now lived at Newington, in comfortable circumstances, publishing The Reviews, and fend. ing out such tracts, as either gratified his prejudices, or supplied his needs. During that contentious pe
* Review, Vol. vii. No. 95.
fiod he naturally gave and received many wounds; and he prudently entered into a truce with Mr. J. Dyer, who was engaged in similar occupations, that, however they might clash in party, they may write without personal reflections, and thus differ still, and yet preserve the Christian and the gentleman *
* The following letter to Mr. J. Dyer, in Shoe-lane, who was then employed by the leaders' of the Tories, in circulating news and infinuations through the country, will shew the literary manners of those times, and convey fome anecdotes, which are no where else preserved. The original letter is in the Museum, Harl. MSS. No. 7001. fol. 269. Mr. Dyer,
I have your letter. I am rather glad to find you put it upon the trial who was aggressor, than justify a thing which I am sure you cannot approve ; and in this I assure
I am far from injuring you, and refer you to the time when long since
you had wrote I was fled from justice : one Şammon being taken up for printing a libel, and I being then on a journey, nor the least charge against me for being concerned in it by any body but your letter: also many unkind personal reflections on me in your letter, when I was in Scotland, on the affair of the Union, and I assure you,
when my paper had not in the least mentioned you, and those I refer to time and date for the proof of.
I mention this only in defence of my last letter, in which I said no more of it than to let you see I did not merit such treatment, and could nevertheless be content to render any service to you, though I thought myself hardly used.
But to state the matter fairly between you and I, (me) a write ing for different interests, and so possibly coming under an unavoidable necessity of jarring in several cafes : I am ready to make a fair truce of honour with you, viz. that if what either party are doing, or saying, that may clash with the party we are for, and urge us to speak, it shall be done without naming either's name, and without personal reflections; and thus we may differ still, and yet preserve both the Christian and the gentleman. D d 2
But between professed controvertists such a treaty could only be persevered in with Punic faith.
While thus occupied, De Foe was not forgotten by the City of Edinburgh with the usual ingratitude of public bodies. On the first of February 1710-11, that Corporation, remembering his Caledonia, empowered him to publish the Edinburgh Courant, in the room of Adam Booge *, though I suspect that he did not continue long to edify the Edinburgh citi
This I think is an offer may satisfy you. I have not been defirous of giving just offence to you, neither would I to any man, however I may differ from him; and I see no reason why I should affront a man's perfon, because I do not join with him in principle. I please myself with being the first proposer of so fair a treaty with you, because I believe, as you cannot deny its being very honourable, so it is not less so in coming first from me, who I believe could convince you of my having been the first and most ill-treated--for further proof of which I refer you to your letters, at the time I was threatened by the Envoy of the King of Sweden.
However, Mr. Dyer, this is a method which may end what is paft, and prevent what is future ; and if refused, the future part I am sure cannot lye at
door. As to your letter, your proposal is fo agreeable to me, that truly without it I could not have taken the thing at all: for it would have been a trouble intolerable, both to you as well as me, to take your letter
every poft, first from you, and then fend it to the post-house.
Your method of fending to the black box, is just what I defigned to propose, and Mr. Shaw will doubtless take it of you : if you think it needful for me to speak to him it shall be done What I want to know is only the charge, and that you will order it constantly to be sent, upon hinting whereof I shall send you the names. Wishing you success in all things (Your opinions of Government excepted) I am,
Your hun:ble servant, Newington, June 17,
* Arnott's Edinburgh.