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1831.] Review.- Wilson's Memoirs of De Foe.
147 easily brought in point of contrast to that degree, that the threats and inDe Foe's keen eye did not overlook sults I received were such as I am not this, and he therefore published in his able to express.” (vol. iii. p. 379.) His Review for 20 Juve, 1706, an exqui- editor pertinently remarks, sitely humourous satirical account of “ De Foe's political life was now drawing the matter. This was soon pirated to a close. During a period of more than and hawked about the streets, under forty years, he had taken an active part in the title of “ A Sermon preached by public affairs, either as a warm partizan of Mr. Daniel De Foe, at the fitting up liberal politics, or in opposing the factions of Mr. Daniel Burgess's late Meeting of the times. In the course of the contest house.” He takes the play-bill as his
he had been involved in personal quarrels, text, the performance' was Hamlet, and had met with some severe rebukes, but with other amusements. In one pas
the foreitude of his mind at all times rose sage De Foe asks how can the Church superior to his difficulties, and enabled him
to triumph in the rectitude of his princibe in danger ?
ples. He had oow arrived at a period of “The Parliament addresses, the Queen life when the mind seeks repose from the consults, the Ministry execute, the army turbulence of faction, and the course of pofights, and all for the Church! But at litical events having thrown him in the back home we have other heroes that act for the ground, he was destined to beat out a new Church. Peggy Hughes sings, Monsieur path to fame, which will render his name Ramadon plays, Miss Santlow dances, respected when temporary politics are forMonsieur Cherrier teaches, and all for the gotten." Church. Here's heavenly doings,-here's harmony,-your singing psalms is hurdy
In the 17th chapter of his third vogurdy to this music, and all your preaching lume, De Foe's merits as a writer of actors are fools to these. Besides, there's fiction are analysed by Mr. Wilson, another sort of music here, the case is al- and among the rest his ever-popular tered, the Clergy preach and read there, &c. publication Robinson Crusoe is of and get money for it of the Church. But course particularly noticed. It is a these sing and act, and talk bawdy, and the singular fact, that ihe MS. of this celeChurch gets money by the bargain; there's brated work went nearly through the the music of it!"
whole of the trade, before a purchaser He concludes by recommending the could be found in William Taylor of following inscription to be placed over the Ship in Paternoster-row, who pubthe door of the Chapel :
lished ihe first part in April 1719. It " This Church was re-edified anno 1706,
need not be added that his purchase at the expence and by the charitable con- proved a very valuable speculation to tributions of the enemies of the Reforma- him, although, as in many other simi. tion of Morals, and to the eternal scandal lar instances, the author was but slenand most just reproach of the Church of derly remunerated. How many liteEngland and the Protestant Religion.— rary men of worth know the force of Witness our hands, Lucifer Prince of Dark- that sentenceness, and Hamlet Prince of Denmark, Churchwardens."-vol. iii. p. 457.
“Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes !". Previously to the Union with Scot- The second part soon followed by land, De Foe was charged with two the same publisher in August of the secret missions by the ministry to that
same year. country, of which he acquitied him- The vulgar imputation which has self with such approbation, that he passed current to every schoolboy, that was rewarded, through the interven- he purloined the conients of Alexantion of Harley, with a pension : on the der Selkirk's MSS. who had passed retirement of that minister, it fell into four years on the solitary island of arrears, and was ultimately disconti- Juan Fernandez, is shown to be ennued. On the death of the Queen tirely destitute of truth: All that De and the accession of George the First, Foe owed 10 Selkirk's adventure was Harley's party lost their power, aud the fact of a human being having been De Foe had to experience all the so situated, which, with a description wretchedness of “ihat poor man,” of his mode of life, had appeared in a who has lived on the favour of a fac- periodical paper called the Englishtion in the State. “ No sooner was man, by Sir Richard Steele, No. 28. the Queen dead (says he), and the Sir Richard says, that he had seen and King, as right required, proclaimed, frequently conversed with Selkirk on but the rage of men increased upon me his arrival in England in 1711.
Review.-Wilson's Memoirs of De Foe. [Feb. The perfect air of vraisemblance as he approached the threshold of the which De Foe contrived to give to all grave, the instability of worldly comhis works of fiction, in none is inore fort, and what was more bitter still, completely developed than in the story the ingratitude of a child.--He was prefixed to the translation of Drelin- thrown into prison, on the suit of court's Consolations against the Fear a merciless creditor, it would appear of Death. The sale of the book prov- on some bond which ought to have ing heavy on its first production, De been cancelled, or on
some ficti. Foe offered the publishers to make it rious claiın. Such is the probable ingo off, by the recommendation of a ference from De Foe's own words, ghost, and immediately penned the who calls him “
a wicked and perApparition of Mrs. Veal the next day jured enemy.” He was not long conafter her death, to one Mrs. Bargrave fined, being released August 1730. of Canterbury, in the course of which During his imprisonment he suffered supernatural rencontre and colloquy, much from bodily affliction, having the spectre strongly recommends the had an attack of fever. Mr. Wilson perusal of Drelincourt's treatise to thus pathetically approaches the final her friend. The book went through catastrophe of his hero: forty editions !
“He who had borne so long the buffetThe “ Journal of the Plague Year, ings of the world, possessed a spirit that rebeing Observations or Memorials of fused to sink under them, until he was the most remarkable Occurrences, as touched by the hand that should have nouwell public as private, which hap- rished and protected him. He could say, in pened in London during the last great the language of the prophet, 'I have nouVisitation in 1665. Written by a Ci
rished and brought up children, and they tizen, who continued all the while in
have rebelled against me.' It seems that, London; never made public before.
to prevent the shipwreck of his property, London, E. Nutt, 1722;” and “The
he had conveyed it to his son, with a legal Memoirs of a Cavalier, or a Military that it was for the joint benefit of his wife
obligation as well as private understanding, Journal of the Wars in Germany and
and two unmarried daughters. But he the Wars in England, from 1632 to proved an unfaithful steward, converting 1643. Written threescore years ago, the property to his own use, and leaving by an English Gentleman;" &c. &c. his mother and sisters want." are prominent instances of his admira- A most touching original letter from ble skill in giving identical reality, to De Foe to his son-in-law Mr. Baker, the hero of his piece. These two last on the subject of his calamity, is given volumes have been frequently consi- in vol. III. p. 605; it seems to have dered and referred to as descriptions by been written after his enlargement, eye-witnesses of the scenes to which and is dated Greenwich in Kent, 12 they relate. It will afford some idea Aug. 1730, where he probably had of the industry of De Foe, and the sheltered himself in retirement, from fertility of his genius, to inform the the pressure of an insolvency which reader that a catalogue of no less than had been so cruelly brought upon him. two hundred and ten separate publica- De Foe did not long survive this last tions is given by Mr. Wilson as from shock of worldly fortune, redoubled the pen of De Foe. His Romances as its force had been by filial ingratimust have placed him during their tude. The particulars of his last morun in easy circumstances; for about ments are not on record; nothing 1721 he built himself a handsome more is known than that he died of a house at Stoke Newington, and is lethargy on the 24th of April, 1731, said to have kept his coach. Here, as in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, human life is seldom exempt from where he had drawn bis first breath, some counterbalance to happiness, and that he was buried two days after which places the affluent and the in Tindall's burying-ground, Bunhillneedy on a par, he was troubled with fields. frequent attacks of those excruciating Thus have we briefly noticed, as diseases the gout and stone.–At Stoke they occur in the course of Mr. WilNewington Mr. H. Baker became the son's elaborate narrative, the incidents guest of his family, and forming an at- and occupations which marked the iachinent for Sophia, De Foe's young- life of a genius who has left us at this est daughter, married her in 1729. time only to regret that so many of the
De Foe was doomed to experience, productions of his truly English pen
1831.] Review.-Rev. W. Pashley's Voice of Reason. 149 should have been devoted to temporary bell, usually called Tom, very loud and subjects of evanescent interest.We very hollow. Noise enough he cerhave had no space to enter with Mr. tainly made; but sound and sense are Wilson into the analysis of the princi- distinct things. pal writings of De Foe, into the de- We assume that infinitorum nulla scription of the parties of his day, or sit ars; that no one can physically into details of historical characters act. predicate what is in figure and essence ing on the same stage with himself. Deity, and yet must do so, if he opOn all these points Mr. Wilson has poses Revelation; that is to say, he considerably, nay, sometimes we have must predicate what God cannot posthought almost superfluously enlarged. sibly be, before he has any foundation His book is written in a plain, per- for objection. If he finds a posteriori, spicuous, and flowing style. It will from reason, that he cannot be what be found to afford much amusement savages and pagans, and possibly what to the mere lounging reader who may he himself, have made of him, he is dip into it for anecdote here and there, vindicated, but he has no faculties or wbile it forms a valuable volume of means of going further. Every phireference for such as would acquaint losopher knows that hydrogen and themselves with the state of politics oxygen are both connected with comand literature at the time immediately bustion; he possibly predicates, therepreceding the revolution of 1688, and fore, that if he can compound them forty years subsequent. We cannot, both, he will produce a combustible as we have observed before, follow De power, which will consume all before Foe and his biographer in their leaning it. No, instead of this, he produces towards the Puritan faction in the water, which quenches fire.' Again, State; at the same time we can make it is known that wherever there is due allowance for erroneous opinions moisture, organic being is sure to arise, and prejudices, which may tincture the of which no man can predicate the lives of the best of men. We are quite possible forms, whether vegetable or aware how much the true catholicism animal. Moreover, he sees only the of Christianity may be forwarded by phenomena of generation and vitality, forbearance and a mild construction of but he knows nothing of the princithe influential molives of our neigh- ples.
Under these circumstances, bour, and we are willing to believe therefore, how can he predicate any that, guided by sincerity of purpose, thing which exceeds hypothesis; and and unperverted by the fiery spirit of such being the foundation, viz. air, fanaticism, men of different religious what must be the superstructure but a sects are often much closer to union castle in that air ? than they themselves believe.
But the infidel says, and says truly with Locke, faith is an involuntary
act, I have no faith, and you cannot The Voice of Reason in Defence of the Chris
tian Faith, as may be supposed would be compel faith. Admitted. Our author now raised by the departed Spirit of the
quotes Paine as saying that Author of “ The Age of Reason,” &c. By
“ No one will deny or dispute the power the Rev. William Pashley, B.A. 8vo. pp.
of the Almighty to make such a communi
cation if he pleases; but it is revelation to WE do not think that the manner the first person only, and hearsay to every in which divines combat infidelity, is
other, and consequently they are not obthat which is most efficient. They liged to believe it.”—p. 56. assume premises which are pointless Now here is fallacy. A man canweapons in regard to sceptics, because not be obliged to believe any thing. they leave the grounds of objectiou He cannot be obliged to believe that unassailed. With humility, then, we he owes his being to an antecession would propose a new system of tactics, of fathers and mothers; but he cannot and treat Revelation according to phi- deny it, without being laughed at. Adlosophical principles and the laws of mit the fact, and the hearsay becomes Providence; neither of which seem to evidence, like history. Paine, to have have been studied by that popular de- been a perfect infidel, should have demagogue named Paine, with ihe præ- nied the premises that the Almighty nomen of Tom;,apropos enough, both 'could have made any revelation at allo; as be derived his name from the doubt- but then he well knew that he would ing apostle, and also resembled a great inextricably have been in a Maelstrom.
150 Review.-Voice of Reason.-Progress of Society. [Feb. Allegate, that there cannot be a tri- ghosts ; but Dr. Hibbert has plainly une Deity; that there cannot have shown that such visionary beings are been a Son of God co-existent and actually created before the eyes of the co-eternal; that there cannot have been spectators, through certain states of a Revelation, and so forth. Now you disease in their own persons. cannot prove what is not, by what is; therefore follows that our organs are nor what is, by what is not. You susceptible of being acted upon by untake upon you to decide physical ques. known causes, so as per se to produce tions, by private opinions only; and miracles and extraordinary things. no science can be formed out of such Now if the Bible cannot be philoniaterials.
sophically convicted of absurdity, and As to the Bible, its authenticity is we think that it cannot, why then indeterminable by its adaptation to or fidelity has no better ground-work disagreement with the laws and acts than cavil? Paine has merely brought of Providence. The chief of these is, forward the quibbles of the French reas to the present subject, the progres- volutionists ; and Bishop Watson has sive improvement of man. Now it is most successfully exposed palpable noted by geologists that such has been sophism and gross falsifications of histhe progress in creation, at various pe- tory: Paine, to make his case good, riods, that a future race of men far su- ought to have shown that it was the perior to the present, may be in the intention of the Almighty to make contemplation of Providence; and fa- man an impeccable and perfect being, natics, in
consequence of this idea, and that the Bible misrepresents that have not very rationally understood it object. But physiologists know that to mean a race of men consisting it is not possible to reconcile the conwholly of dissenters. The principle formation of man and the existence of of the Bible is improvement, by means privatives (as darkness the defect of of a proper conception of the nature light, death of life, &c. &c.) with such and action of Deity, in respect to man; an original intention. He never was nor is there a single unphilosophical or could be any other than such as the absurdity in
intervention which it Bible represents him to be; and this records. A miracle is only a suspen- might with great ease be physically sion of the laws of nature, and pro- proved. phecy only a supernatural impulse. An Mr. Pashley, like a zealous and wellincarnation from the very birth of the meaning, clergyman, is anxious that intellectual conformation of a being his parishioners should not be misled suited to some especial divine purpose, by the charlatan Paine. We are bound is not also an unphilosophical absur- to respect such intentions, and wish dity; and nothing which cannot be him every success; for in truth, to phidemonstrated such, is to be treated losophers, Paine is a mere man of with contempt.
In proof, be it ob- straw. He only gulls the ignorant. served that philosophers admit the existence of a subtile fluid, which oc
The Progress of Society. By the late Rocupies completely the space of the bert Hamilton, LL.D. F.R.S. Professor oniverse, (see Arnott's Physics, ii. 4.) of Mathematics in the Marischal College and of which the properties are not and University of Aberdeen, Author of an discoverable by man.
This is an af. “ Enquiry concerning the National Debt." fair of physics; and all the acts of 8vo. Pp. 409. Deity are conducted by physical means, Dr. HAMILTON has given in whereas infidelity is derived from me. this work an excellent digest of the taphysics, a science which professes to philosophical doctrines concerning the determine all things by consciousness; history of man, and the theories of but who can calculate eclipses by con- political economy. To these abstracts sciousness?
are added original and shrewd observaPaine was not a philosopher. If the tions. Like many distilled essences, Bible had not contained extraordinary his writings exhibit lucid clearness, things, it could not have been a reve- and have great strength of spirit. lation; and because it does contain We shall not premise further, beextraordinary things, he allegates that cause we have extracts to make, bearit is undeserving of credit. For many iny upon present circumstances of centuries it was disputed whether there great interest; and first, the state of could possibly exist such beings as
the poor :
151 “The necessary or ordinary expenses of earning any thing, how is it possible the labouring part of the community in that they can be duly maintained upon Britain, including men, women, and chil
only 221. 10s.? and if this family be dren, may be taken at six pence a day, or doubled, as is sometimes the case, the Dine pounds a year each.—p. 101.
income of each will be only between “As the labouring part of the community seldom accumulate much wealth, their
2l. and 31. per annum. annual earnings are nearly equal to their “ To persons in these circumstances food annual outgoings. This we have stated at is the principal article of expense. Accordnine pounds a year each. If a family con- ing to Sir Frederick Eden, it amounts to sist of five persons, a man, bis wife, two three-fourths of the whole. The income of children, and an infant, their aggregate ex- a labourer is burtijened with a part of the pense amounts to forty-five pounds. If the taxes, which supply the national revenue. man gain eighteen pence a day for three He pays little in direct taxation, but he hundred working days, his wages amount pays indirectly in the price of beer, leather, to twenty-two pounds ten shillings in the candles, soap, tobacco, and other articles.” year."-p. 103.
Now if we take, as here stated, the The net income of the different minimum of expense for such a fa- classes, excluding professional men, mily to be 45l. per annuin, and the Dr. Hamilton makes to be the followwife and children to be incapable of ing: Proprietors of land, gross income
£.55,000,000 Deduct tithes, poor's rates, and other local taxes, £.10,000,000, and land-tax, £.1,200,000
Amount of public burthens
67,000,000 Deduct the part which falls upon the national creditors, public officers, and clergy
Amount of national income
£.270,000,000 (pp. 115, 116.) In p. 113, Dr. Hamilton assumes and their families, whose income at that there are ten millions of labourers gl. per head, amounts to 90,000,000,