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his Life and Errors and for his absurd political pamphlets, published his Athenian Gazette, afterwards The Athenian Mercury, as an organ for those curious in philosophical and recondite matters. From Dunton, Defoe borrowed some of the topics discussed in the miscellaneous portion of his paper. In 1695, the Licensing Act, which had for some years been administered with moderation, was allowed to lapse, and several new journals were at once begun, some of which were destined to have important careers. Chief among these were The Flying Post, a triweekly whig organ, edited by the Scot George Ridpath, for many years a bitter opponent of Defoe, and the tory Post Boy, which was published by Abel Roper, a special object of whig detestation, and, for some time, edited by Abel Boyer, who, later, changed his politics. These and The Post Man, as well as the printed newsletter of Ichabod Dawks and the written newsletter of John Dyer, notorious for his partisan mendacity, were primarily disseminators of news. They were supplemented, in March 1702, by the first of the dailies, The Daily Courant, which, like the weekly Corantos of eighty years before, consisted of translations from foreign papers. It soon fell into the hands of Samuel Buckley, a versatile man with whom Defoe was often at odds. On 1 April 1702, the most important strictly political organ of the whigs was begun by John Tutchin, a small poet and pamphleteer, who had suffered under Jeffreys and was still to endure persecution for his advanced liberal opinions. He took L'Estrange's old title, The Observator, and continued the dialogue form. Two years later, Tutchin's form and his extreme partisanship were imitated by the famous non-juror and opponent of the deists, Charles Leslie, whose short-lived Rehearsal became the chief organ of the high churchmen. Meanwhile, a few months before Leslie's paper appeared, Defoe, not without Harley's connivance, had begun his Review as an organ of moderation, ecclesiastical and political, and of broad commercial interests. Although his satirical discussions of current topics may have given useful hints to Steele and Addison, it seems clear that Defoe's chief contribution to journalism at this period is to be found in his abandonment of the dialogue form and of the partisan tone of his predecessors and immediate contemporaries. He adopted a straightforward style, cultivated moderation and aimed at accuracy, because, more completely than any other contemporary journalist, he made it his purpose to secure acquiescence rather than to strengthen prejudice. But, in what follows, we must confine ourselves to his own varied career.

Defoe is usually said to have been born in London in 1661, the date being derived from a reference to his age made in the preface to one of his tracts. That this is an error seems clear from his marriage licence allegation. He must have been born in London, the son of James Foe, a butcher of the parish of St Giles, Cripplegate, at the end of 1659 or early in 1660. His father came of Northamptonshire stock; but the name of his mother's family has not been ascertained. Beyond the fact that his parents were presbyterians, who early set him apart for the ministry, we know little concerning his childhood. When he was about fourteen, he entered a dissenters' school kept at Stoke Newington by Charles Morton, a somewhat distinguished scholar and minister, and he probably remained there three or four years, by which time he had given up the idea of becoming a preacher. He has left some account of his education, which appears to have been practical and well adapted to the needs of his journalistic career, since emphasis was laid on history, geography and politics, the modern languages and proficiency in the vernacular.

Scarcely anything is known of his life between 1677 or 1678, when he may be presumed to have left school, and January 1683/4, the date of his marriage, when he was a merchant in Cornhill, probably a wholesale dealer in hosiery. There is evidence from his writings that, at one time, he held some commercial position in Spain, and it is clear that his biographers have not collected all the passages that tend to show his acquaintance with Italy, southern Germany and France. As it is difficult to place any long continued absence from England after his marriage, it seems plausible to hold that he may have been sent to Spain as an apprentice in the commission business and have taken the opportunity, when returning, to see more of Europe. His 'wander-years,' if he had them, must be placed between 1678, the year of the popish plot and the murder of Godfrey, and 1683, the year of the repulse of the Turks from Vienna, since it is practically certain that he was in London at each of these periods.

Not much more is known of his early life as a married man. His wife, Mary Tuffley, who survived him, was of a well-to-do family, bore him seven children and, from all we can gather, proved a good helpmeet. That he soon left her to take some share in Monmouth's rebellion seems highly probable; but that, between 1684 and 1688, he became an embryo sociologist and was engaged in the systematic travelling about England that has been attributed to him is very doubtful. How he escaped Jeffreys, whether he

Defoe in Business. Essay upon Projects 7

ever was a presbyterian minister at Tooting, what precisely he wrote and published against James II-these and other similar matters are still mysteries. It seems plain that he joined William's army late in 1688; that he took great interest in the establishment of the new government; that his standing in the city among his fellow dissenters was outwardly high; and that he cherished literary aspirations. His first definitely ascertained publication is a satire in verse of 1691. In the following year he became a bankrupt, with a deficit of about £17,000.

It is usual to attribute his failure to unbusinesslike habits, and to pay little attention to the charges of fraud brought against him later. As a matter of fact, this period of his life is so dark that positive conclusions of any kind are rash. It would seem, however, that he suffered unavoidable losses through the war with France, that he was involved in too many kinds of enterprises, some of them speculative, and that his partial success in paying off his creditors warrants leniency toward him. Some friends appear to have stood by him to the extent of offering him a situation in Spain, which he could afford to reject because of better opportunities at home. Within four years, he was doing well as secretary and manager of a tile factory near Tilbury. He also served as accountant to the commissioners of the glass duty, and there is no good reason to dispute his claim that he remained in fairly prosperous circumstances until he was ruined, in 1703, by his imprisonment for writing The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.

Shortly after his bankruptcy, Defoe, full of the speculative spirit of the age, was engaged in composing his Essay upon Projects, which did not appear until 1697. Of all his early productions, this is much the most interesting to the general reader, who is left wondering at the man's versatility and modernity, particularly in matters relating to education, insurance and the treatment of seamen. At the end of 1697, he plunged, on the king's side, into the controversy with regard to the maintenance of a standing army, and he continued to publish on the subject, though some of his tracts have escaped his biographers. In 1698, he began writing against occasional conformity in a manner which lost him much favour with his fellow dissenters, and he also made an effective contribution to the propaganda of the societies for the reformation of manners. His duties as head of a tile factory and as government accountant clearly did not occupy all his time, save for the single year 1699, to which not one work by him is plausibly assigned. It was not until the end of 1700, however, that out of the small

poet and occasional pamphleteer was evolved a prolific professional writer. The occasion was the will of Charles II of Spain and the upsetting of William's plans for the partition of the Spanish monarchy. Defoe supported his sovereign in several tracts, and he pleaded for the return of a parliament uncontrolled by moneyed interests. But it was a sprawling satire in favour of the king, not homely tracts addressed to plain freeholders, that gave the middle-aged journalist his first taste of literary popularity.

This satire was The True-Born Englishman, which appeared in January 1701, and, both in authorised and in pirated editions, had an enormous sale. It was a reply to a poem by Tutchin, in which that journalist had voiced the popular prejudice against the foreign-born king. Defoe's vigorous verses turned the tables on his own hybrid people, and were good journalism, whatever one may think of them as poetry. They seem to have been the occasion of his introduction to the king, an honour which, much to the disgust of less favoured editors and pamphleteers, was not left unchronicled in his writings. We know little of his relations with William; but, at the time of his arrest for The Shortest Way, it was suspected that these had been close, and he himself dropped hints which cause one to believe that occasionally he served the king as an election agent much as, later, he served Harley.

'The Author of The True-Born Englishman,' as Defoe for many years delighted to style himself, did not rest on his laurels as a writer during the short period before the death of his hero William. He published numerous tracts in which he dealt with occasional conformity, foreign affairs, particularly the inevitable war with France, the misdeeds of stock-jobbers and the rights of the people as opposed to the high-handed independence claimed by tories in parliament. The most weighty of these pamphlets is The Original Power of the Collective Body of the People of England, which is worthy of Somers; but we get a better idea of the character of Defoe himself through his attitude in the affair of the Kentish petitioners. There is something of the demagogue in the famous Legion's Address, which he wrote on this occasion; but, in his bold delivery of the document to Harley, the speaker, there is something of the uncalculating love of liberty that marks the true tribune of the people. Although he was probably still under a cloud on account of his bankruptcy, and although fellow dissenters detected treason in his utterances on occasional

The Shortest Way.

Hymn to the Pillory 9

conformity, he was, doubtless, at the zenith of his reputation among his contemporaries when he sat by the side of the Kentish worthies at the banquet given them on their release from prison.

The two most important pamphlets of 1702 were both concerned with ecclesiastical affairs-the acute New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty and the notorious Shortest Way with the Dissenters. The latter may have been designed both to serve the whigs and to reassure those dissenters who had not liked or understood Defoe's attitude on the now burning question of occasional conformity. Whatever his purpose, he overshot the mark by assuming the character of an intolerant 'high-flyer' and by arguing for the suppression of dissent at all costs, no matter how cruel the means. It was no time for irony, especially for irony that demanded more power to read between the lines than either dissenters or extreme churchmen possessed. The former were alarmed; the latter were enraged when they discovered that they had been hoaxed into accepting as the pure gospel of conformity a tract written by a nonconformist for the purpose of reducing ecclesiastical intolerance to an absurdity. In January 1703, the tory Nottingham issued a warrant for Defoe's arrest, but he was not apprehended until the latter part of May. Where he hid himself is uncertain; but there is evidence in his own hand that the prospect of a prison had completely unnerved him. After he was lodged in Newgate, he managed to resist all attempts to worm out of him whatever secrets of state he might possess. At his trial in July, he was misled into pleading guilty, and he received a sentence out of all proportion to his offence. The fine and the imprisonment during the queen's pleasure were less terrible in his eyes than the three public exposures in the pillory, and he used all the means in his power, including a promise through William Penn to make important revelations, in order to escape the more degrading part of his punishment. His efforts proving of no avail, he plucked up his courage and wrote against his persecutors his spirited Hymn to the Pillory. When he was pilloried at the end of July, the temper of the fickle populace had changed, and, instead of being hooted and pelted, he was hailed as a hero. Neither he nor the mob knew that the experience marked a turning point in the career of one of the most variously, though not nobly, gifted men England has ever produced. Before his persecution, Defoe may have been somewhat shifty as a man of affairs and, perhaps, as a writer; but, on the whole, he had been courageous in facing disaster, and he had been more or less

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