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cry was raised against foreigners, on the accession of George I. The True-born Englishman was revived, rather by Roberts the bookseller, than by De Foe the Author *. But the perfecutions of party did not cease when De Foe ceased to be a party-writer. He was insulted by Boyer, in April 1716, as the author of The Triennial Act impartially stated: “ but, whatever was offered,” says Boyer, “ against the Septennial Bill, was fully confuted by the ingenious and judicious Joseph Addison, Esquire.” Whether De Foe wrote in defence of the people's rights, or in support of the law's authority, he is to be censured: whether Addison defended the Septennial Bill, or the Peerage Bill, he is to be praised. With the same misconception of the fact, and malignancy of fpirit, Tolland reviled † De Foe for writing an answer to The State Anatomy, in 1717. The time however will at last come, when the world will judge of men from their actions rather than pretensions.
The death of Anne, and the accession of George I. seem to have convinced De Foe of the vanity of party-writing. And from this eventful epoch, he appears to have studied how to meliorate rather than to harden the heart; how to regulate, more than to vitiate, the practice of life.
Early in 1715 he published The Family Instructor, in three parts: Ist, relating to fathers and children ; 2d, to masters and servants; 3d, to husbands and wives. He carefully concealed his authorship, lest the good effects of his labour should be obstructed by the great imperfections of the writer. The world
* It was entered at Stationers-Hall, for J. Roberts, the 18th of February 1715-16.-t 2d Mem. p. 27, &c.
was then too busy to look immediately into the work. The bookseller soon procured a recommendatory letter from the Reverend Samuel Wright, a wellknown preacher in the Black-Friars. It was praised from the pulpit and the press : and the utility of the end, with the attractiveness of the execution, gave it, at length, a general reception * The Author's first design was to write a Dramatic Poem ; but the subject was too solemn, and the text too copious, to admit of restraint, or to allow excursions. His purpose was to divert and instruct, at the same moment; and by giving it a dramatic form, it has been called by some A religious play. De Foe at last says with his usual archness: As to its being called a play, be it called so, if they please ; it must be confessed, some parts of it are too much acted in many families among us.
The Author wishes, that either all our Plays were as useful for the improvement and entertainment of the world, or that they were less encouraged. There is, I think, fome mysticism in the preface, which, it were to be desired, a judicious hand would expunge, when The Family Instructor shall be again reprinted; for, reprinted it will be, while our language endures; at least, while wise men shall continue to consider the influences of religion and the practice of morals as of the greatest use to society.
* The family of George I. had been instructed by the copy of this book, which is in The Museum. It would seem from the title page and Mr. Wright's letter being printed on a different paper from the work itself, that both were added after the first publication. The Family Instructor and Mr. Wright's letter were entered at Stationers Hall, for Emanuel Mathews, on the zist of March, 1715.
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De Foe afterwards added a second volume, in two parts; ist, relating to Family Breaches; 2dly, to the great Mistake, of mixing the Passions in the managing of Children. He considered it, indeed, as a bold adventure to write a second volume of any thing; there being a general opinion among modern readers, that fecond parts never come up to the spirit of the first. He quotes Mr. Milton, for differing from the world upon the question, and for affirming with regard to his own great performances, That the people had a general sense of the loss of Paradise, but not an equal gust for regaining it. Of De Foe's second volume, it will be easily allowed, that it is as instructive and pleasing as the first. His Religions Courtship, which he published in 1722, may properly be considered as a third volume: For the design is equally moral, the manner is equally attractive, and it may in the same manner be called a Religious Play.
But the time at length came, when De Foe was to deliver to the world the most popular of all his performances. In April 1719, he published the well-known Life and surprising Adventures of RobinSon Crusoe. The reception was immediate and universal; and Taylor, who purchased the manuscript after every bookseller had refused it, is said to have gained a thousand pounds. If it be inquired by what charm it is that these surprising Adventures should have instantly pleased, and always pleased, it will be found, that few books have ever so naturally mingled amusenient with instruction. The at, tention is fixed, either by the simplicity of the narration, or by the variety of the incidents ; the heart is amended by a vindication of the ways of God ta man: and the understanding is informed, by various
examples, how much utility ought to be preferred to ornament: the young are instructed, while the old are amused.
Robinson Crusoe had scarcely drawn his canoe ashore, when he was attacked by his old enemies, the savages. He was affailed first by The Life and strange Adventures of Mr. Dm De Fm, of London, Hofer, who has lived above Fifty Years by himself in the Kingdoms of North and South Britain. In a dull dialogue between De Foe, Crusoe, and his man Friday, our Author's life is lampooned, and his misfortunes ridiculed. But he who had been struck by apoplexy, and who was now discountenanced by power, was no fit object of an Englishman's satire. Our Author declares, when he was himself a writer of satiric poetry, “ that he never reproached any man for his private infirmities, for having his house burnt, his ships cast away, or his family ruined ; nor had he ever lampooned any one, because he could not pay his debts, or differed in judgment from him.” Pope has been justly censured for pursuing a vein of satire extremely dissimilar. And Pope placed De Foe with Tutchen, in The Dunciad, when our Author's infirmities were greater and his comfort less. He was again assaulted in 1719, by An Epistle to D—- De F-, the reputed Author of Robinson Crusoe. “ Mr. Foe,” says the letter-writer, " I have perused your pleasant story of Robinson Crusoe; and if the faults of it had extended no further than the frequent falecisms and incorrectness of style, improbabilities, and sometimes impossibilities, I had not given you the trouble of this Epistle. “ Yet,” said Johnson to Piozzi, “ was there ever any thing written by mere man, that was wished
longer by its readers, except Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim's Progress ?” This epistolary critic, who renewed his angry attack when the second volume appeared, has all the dulness, without the acumen, of Dennis, and all his malignity, without his purpose of reformation.
The Life of Crusoe has passed through innumerable editions, and has been translated into foreign languages, while the criticism funk into oblivion.
De Foe set the critics at defiance while he had the people on his side. As a commercial legislator he knew, that it is rapid fale which is the great incentive : and, in August 1719, he published a second volume of Surprising Adventures, with fimilar fuccess. In hope of profit and of praise, he produced in August 1720, Serious Reflections during the Life of Robinson Crusoe, with his Vision of the Angelic World. He acknowledges, that the present work is not merely the product of the two first volumes, but the two first may rather be called the product of this : : the fable is always made for the moral, not the moral for the fable. He however did not advert, that instruction must be insinuated rather than enforced, That this third volume has more morality than fable, is the cause, I fear, that it has never been read with the same avidity as the former two, or spoken of with the same approbation. We ali prefer amusement to instruction, and he who would inculcate useful truths, must ftudy to amuse, or he will offer his lessons to an auditory, neither numerous, nor attentive.
The tongue of detraction is feldom at rest. It has often been repeated, that De Foe had furreptitiously appropriated the papers of Alexander Selkirk, a