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Title: An Appeal to Honour and Justice, Though It Be of His Worst Enemies. - Being A True Account of His Conduct in Public Affairs.
Author: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "An Appeal to Honour and Justice, Though It Be of His Worst Enemies. - Being A True Account of His Conduct in Public Affairs." ***

[Transcriber's Note: Every effort has been made to replicate this text
as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and
other inconsistencies. Text that has been changed to correct an obvious
error is noted at the end of this ebook.

British Library shows this was first published 1715 and reprinted by D.
A. Talboys, Oxford, 1841.]









  "Come and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give
  heed to any of his words." JEREMIAH, xviii. 18.


  Printed for and Sold by J. BAKER, at the _Black
  Boy_ in _Paternoster-Row_.


I hope the time is come at last when the voice of moderate principles
may be heard. Hitherto the noise has been so great, and the prejudices
and passions of men so strong, that it had been but in vain to offer at
any argument, or for any man to talk of giving a reason for his actions;
and this alone has been the cause why, when other men, who, I think,
have less to say in their own defence, are appealing to the public, and
struggling to defend themselves, I alone have been silent under the
infinite clamours and reproaches, causeless curses, unusual
threatenings, and the most unjust and injurious treatment in the world.

I hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few
are concerned to clear the innocent. I hope some will be inclined to
judge impartially, and have yet reserved so much of the Christian as to
believe, and at least to hope, that a rational creature cannot abandon
himself so as to act without some reason, and are willing not only to
have me defend myself, but to be able to answer for me where they hear
me causelessly insulted by others, and, therefore, are willing to have
such just arguments put into their mouths as the cause will bear.

As for those who are prepossessed, and according to the modern justice
of parties are resolved to be so, let them go; I am not arguing with
them, but against them; they act so contrary to justice, to reason, to
religion, so contrary to the rules of Christians and of good manners,
that they are not to be argued with, but to be exposed, or entirely
neglected. I have a receipt against all the uneasiness which it may be
supposed to give me, and that is, to contemn slander, and think it not
worth the least concern; neither should I think it worth while to give
any answer to it, if it were not on some other accounts of which I shall
speak as I go on. If any young man ask me why I am in such haste to
publish this matter at this time, among many other good reasons which I
could give, these are some:--

1. I think I have long enough been made _Fabula Vulgi_, and borne the
weight of general slander; and I should be wanting to truth, to my
family, and to myself, if I did not give a fair and true state of my
conduct, for impartial men to judge of, when I am no more in being to
answer for myself.

2. By the hints of mortality, and by the infirmities of a life of sorrow
and fatigue, I have reason to think I am not a great way off from, if
not very near to, the great ocean of eternity, and the time may not be
long ere I embark on the last voyage. Wherefore, I think I should even
accounts with this world before I go, that no actions (slanders) may lie
against my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, to disturb
them in the peaceable possession of their father's (character)

3. I fear--God grant I have not a second-sight in it--that this lucid
interval of temper and moderation, which shines, though dimly too, upon
us at this time, will be but of short continuance, and that some men,
who know not how to use the advantage God has put into their hands with
moderation, will push, in spite of the best prince in the world, at such
extravagant things, and act with such an intemperate forwardness, as
will revive the heats and animosities which wise and good men were in
hopes should be allayed by the happy accession of the king to the

It is and ever was my opinion, that moderation is the only virtue by
which the peace and tranquillity of this nation can be preserved. Even
the king himself--I believe his majesty will allow me that freedom--can
only be happy in the enjoyment of the crown by a moderative
administration. If his majesty should be obliged, contrary to his known
disposition, to join with intemperate councils, if it does not lessen
his security, I am persuaded it will lessen his satisfaction. It cannot
be pleasant or agreeable, and I think it cannot be safe, to any just
prince, to rule over a divided people, split into incensed and
exasperated parties. Though a skilful mariner may have courage to master
a tempest, and goes fearless through a storm, yet he can never be said
to delight in the danger; a fresh, fair gale, and a quiet sea, is the
pleasure of his voyage, and we have a saying worth notice to them that
are otherwise minded, _Qui amat periculum, periebat in illo_.

To attain at the happy calm, which, as I say, is the safety of Britain,
is the question which should now move us all; and he would merit to be
called the nation's physician that could prescribe the specific for it.
I think I may be allowed to say, a conquest of parties will never do it;
a balance of parties may. Some are for the former; they talk high of
punishments, letting blood, revenging the treatment they have met with,
and the like. If they, not knowing what spirit they are of, think this
the course to be taken, let them try their hands; I shall give them up
for lost, and look for their downfall from that time; for the ruin of
all such tempers slumbereth not.

It is many years that I have professed myself an enemy to all
precipitations in public administrations; and often I have attempted to
show, that hot councils have ever been destructive to those who have
made use of them. Indeed, they have not always been a disadvantage to
the nation, as in king James II.'s reign, when, as I have often said in
print, his precipitation was the safety of us all: and if he had
proceeded temperately and politicly, we had been undone. _Felix quem

But these things have been spoken when your ferment has been too high
for anything to be heard; whether you will hear it now or no, I know
not; and therefore it was that I said, I fear the present cessation of
party arms will not hold long. These are some of the reasons why I think
this is the proper juncture for me to give some account of myself, and
of my past conduct to the world; and that I may do this as effectually
as I can, being perhaps never more to speak from the press, I shall, as
concisely as I can, give an abridgment of my own history during the few
unhappy years I have employed myself, or been employed, in public in the

Misfortunes in business having unhinged me from matters of trade, it was
about the year 1694 when I was invited by some merchants, with whom I
had corresponded abroad, and some also at home, to settle at Cadiz, in
Spain, and that with offers of very good commissions. But Providence,
which had other work for me to do, placed a secret aversion in my mind
to quitting England upon any account, and made me refuse the best offers
of that kind, to be concerned with some eminent persons at home in
proposing ways and means to the government, for raising money to supply
the occasions of the war then newly begun. Some time after this I was,
without the least application of mine, and being then seventy miles from
London, sent for to be accountant to the commissioners of the glass
duty, in which service I continued to the determination of their

During this time there came out a vile 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
himself, and then upon the Dutch nation; and after having reproached his
majesty with crimes that his worst enemy 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, which I never could hope should have met with so general an
acceptation as it did; I mean The True-born Englishman. How this poem
was the occasion of my being known to his majesty; how I was afterwards
received by him; how employed; and how, above my capacity of deserving,
rewarded, is no part of the present case, and is only mentioned here, as
I take all occasions to do, for the expressing the honour I ever
preserved for the immortal and glorious memory of that greatest and best
of princes, and whom it was my honour and advantage to call master, as
well as sovereign; whose goodness to me I never forgot, neither can
forget; and whose memory I never patiently heard abused, nor ever can do
so; and who, had he lived, would never have suffered me to be treated as
I have been in the world. But Heaven for our sins removed him in
judgment. How far the treatment he met with from the nation he came to
save, and whose deliverance he finished, was admitted by Heaven to be a
means of his death, I desire to forget for their sakes who are guilty;
and if this calls any of it to mind, it is mentioned to move them to
treat him better who is now, with like principles of goodness and
clemency, appointed by God and the constitution to be their sovereign,
lest He that protects righteous princes avenge the injuries they receive
from an ungrateful people by giving them up to the confusions their
madness leads them to.

And in their just acclamations at the happy accession of his present
majesty to the throne, I cannot but advise them to look back and call to
mind who it was that first guided them to the family of Hanover, and to
pass by all the popish branches of Orleans and Savoy; recognising the
just authority of parliament in the undoubted right of limiting the
succession, and establishing that glorious maxim of our settlement,
viz., that it is inconsistent with the constitution of this protestant
kingdom to be governed by a popish prince. I say, let them call to mind
who it was that guided their thoughts first to the protestant race of
our own kings in the house of Hanover; and that it is to king William,
next to Heaven itself, to whom we owe the enjoying a protestant king at
this time. I need not go back to the particulars of his majesty's
conduct in that affair; his journey in person to the country of Hanover
and the court of Zell; his particular management of the affair
afterwards at home, perfecting the design by naming the illustrious
family to the nation, and bringing about a parliamentary settlement to
effect it; entailing the crown thereby in so effectual a manner as we
see has been sufficient to prevent the worst designs of our Jacobite
people in behalf of the pretender; a settlement, together with the
subsequent acts which followed it, and the Union with Scotland, which
made it unalterable, that gave a complete satisfaction to those who knew
and understood it, and removed those terrible apprehensions of the
pretender (which some entertained) from the minds of others, who were
yet as zealous against him as it was possible for any to be. Upon this
settlement, as I shall show presently, I grounded my opinion, which I
often expressed, viz., that I did not see it possible the Jacobites
could ever set up their idol here, and I think my opinion abundantly
justified in the consequences; of which by and by.

This digression, as a debt to the glorious memory of king William, I
could not in justice omit; and as the reign of his present majesty is
esteemed happy, and looked upon as a blessing from heaven by us, it will
most necessarily lead us to bless the memory of king William, to whom we
owe so much of it. How easily could his majesty have led us to other
branches, whose relation to the crown might have had large pretences!
What prince but would have submitted to have educated a successor of his
race in the protestant religion for the sake of such a crown? But the
king, who had our happiness in view, and saw as far into it as any human
sight could penetrate; who knew we were not to be governed by
inexperienced youths; that the protestant religion was not to be
established by political converts; and that princes, under French
influence, or instructed in French politics, were not proper instruments
to preserve the liberties of Britain, fixed his eyes upon the family
which now possesses the crown, as not only having an undoubted relation
to it by blood, but as being first and principally zealous and powerful
asserters of the protestant religion and interest against popery; and,
secondly, stored with a visible succession of worthy and promising
branches, who appeared equal to the weight of government, qualified to
fill a throne and guide a nation, which, without reflection, are not
famed to be the most easy to rule in the world.

Whether the consequence has been a credit to king William's judgment I
need not say. I am not writing panegyrics here, but doing justice to
the memory of the king my master, whom I have had the honour very often
to hear express himself with great satisfaction in having brought the
settlement of the succession to so good an issue; and, to repeat his
majesty's own words, that he knew no prince in Europe so fit to be king
of England as the elector of Hanover. I am persuaded, without any
flattery, that if it should not every way answer the expectations his
majesty had of it, the fault will be our own. God grant the king may
have more comfort of his crown than we suffered king William to have!

The king being dead, and the queen proclaimed, the hot men of that side,
as the hot men of all sides do, thinking the game in their own hands,
and all other people under their feet, began to run out into those mad
extremes, and precipitate themselves into such measures as, according to
the fate of all intemperate councils, ended in their own confusion, and
threw them at last out of the saddle.

The queen, who, though willing to favour the high-church party, did not
thereby design the ruin of those whom she did not employ, was soon
alarmed at their wild conduct, and turned them out, adhering to the
moderate counsels of those who better understood, or more faithfully
pursued, her majesty's and the country's interest. In this turn fell sir
Edward Seymour's party, for so the high men were then called; and to
this turn we owe the conversion of several other great men, who became
whigs on that occasion, which it is known they were not before; which
conversion afterwards begat that unkind distinction of old whig and
modern whig, which some of the former were with very little justice
pleased to run up afterwards to an extreme very pernicious to both.

But I am gone too far in this part. I return to my own story.

In the interval of these things, and during the heat of the first fury
of highflying, I fell a sacrifice for writing against the rage and
madness of that high party, and in the service of the dissenters. What
justice I met with, and, above all, what mercy, is too well known to
need repetition.

This introduction is made that it may bring me to what has been the
foundation of all my further concern in public affairs, and will produce
a sufficient reason for my adhering to those whose obligations upon me
were too strong to be resisted, even when many things were done by them
which I could not approve; and for this reason it is that I think it
necessary to distinguish how far I did or did not adhere to, or join in
or with, the persons or conduct of the late government; and those who
are willing to judge with impartiality and charity, will see reason to
use me the more tenderly in their thoughts, when they weigh the

I will make no reflections upon the treatment I met with from the people
I suffered for, or how I was abandoned even in my sufferings, at the
same time that they acknowledged the service I had been to their cause;
but I must mention it to let you know that while I lay friendless and
distressed in the prison of Newgate, my family ruined, and myself
without hope of deliverance, a message was brought me from a person of
honour, who, till that time, I had never had the least acquaintance
with, or knowledge of, other than by fame, or by sight, as we know men
of quality by seeing them on public occasions. I gave no present answer
to the person who brought it, having not duly weighed the import of the
message. The message was by word of mouth thus:--"Pray, ask that
gentleman what I can do for him?" But in return to this kind and
generous message, I immediately took my pen and ink, and wrote the story
of the blind man in the gospel, who followed our Saviour, and to whom
our blessed Lord put the question, "What wilt thou that I should do unto
thee?" Who, as if he had made it strange that such a question should be
asked, or as if he had said that I am blind, and yet ask me what thou
shalt do for me? My answer is plain in my misery, "Lord, that I may
receive my sight?"

I needed not to make the application. And from this time, although I lay
four months in prison after this, and heard no more of it, yet from this
time, as I learned afterwards, this noble person made it his business to
have my case represented to her majesty, and methods taken for my

I mention this part, because I am no more to forget the obligation upon
me to the queen, than to my first benefactor.

When her majesty came to have the truth of the case laid before her, I
soon felt the effects of her royal goodness and compassion. And first,
her majesty declared, that she left all that matter to a certain person,
and did not think he would have used me in such a manner. Probably these
words may seem imaginary to some, and the speaking them to be of no
value, and so they would have been had they not been followed with
further and more convincing proofs of what they imported, which were
these, that her majesty was pleased particularly to inquire into my
circumstances and family, and by my lord treasurer Godolphin to send a
considerable supply to my wife and family, and to send to me the prison
money to pay my fine and the expenses of my discharge. Whether this be
a just foundation let my enemies judge. Here is the foundation on which
I built my first sense of duty to her majesty's person, and the
indelible bond of gratitude to my first benefactor.

Gratitude and fidelity are inseparable from an honest man. But, to be
thus obliged by a stranger, by a man of quality and honour, and after
that by the sovereign under whose administration I was suffering, let
any one put himself in my stead, and examine upon what principles I
could ever act against either such a queen, or such a benefactor; and
what must my own heart reproach me with, what blushes must have covered
my face when I had looked in, and called myself ungrateful to him that
saved me thus from distress, or her that fetched me out of the dungeon,
and gave my family relief? Let any man who knows what principles are,
what engagements of honour and gratitude are, make his case his own, and
say what I could have done more or less than I have done.

I must go on a little with the detail of the obligation, and then I
shall descend to relate what I have done, and what I have not done, in
the case.

Being delivered from the distress I was in, her majesty, who was not
satisfied to do me good by a single act of her bounty, had the goodness
to think of taking me into her service, and I had the honour to be
employed in several honourable, though secret services, by the
interposition of my first benefactor, who then appeared as a member in
the public administration.

I had the happiness to discharge myself in all these trusts so much to
the satisfaction of those who employed me, though oftentimes with
difficulty and danger, that my lord treasurer Godolphin, whose memory I
have always honoured, was pleased to continue his favour to me, and to
do me all good offices with her majesty, even after an unhappy breach
had separated him from my first benefactor, the particulars of which may
not be improper to relate; and as it is not an injustice to any, so I
hope it will not be offensive.

When, upon that fatal breach, the secretary of state was dismissed from
the service, I looked upon myself as lost; it being a general rule in
such cases, when a great officer falls, that all who came in by his
interest fall with him; and resolving never to abandon the fortunes of
the man to whom I owed so much of my own, I quitted the usual
applications which I had made to my lord treasurer.

But my generous benefactor, when he understood it, frankly told me that
I should by no means do so; "For," said he, in the most engaging terms,
"my lord treasurer will employ you in nothing but what is for the public
service, and agreeably to your own sentiments of things; and besides, it
is the queen you are serving, who has been very good to you. Pray, apply
yourself as you used to do; I shall not take it ill from you in the

Upon this, I went to wait on my lord-treasurer, who received me with
great freedom, and told me, smiling, he had not seen me a long while. I
told his lordship very frankly the occasion--that the unhappy breach
that had fallen out made me doubtful whether I should be acceptable to
his lordship. That I knew it was usual when great persons fall, that all
who were in their interest fell with them. That his lordship knew the
obligations I was under, and that I could not but fear my interest in
his lordship was lessened on that account. "Not at all, Mr. De Foe,"
replied his lordship, "I always think a man honest till I find to the

Upon this, I attended his lordship as usual; and being resolved to
remove all possible ground of suspicion that I kept any secret
correspondence, I never visited, or wrote to, or any way corresponded
with my principal benefactor for above three years; which he so well
knew the reason of, and so well approved that punctual behaviour in me,
that he never took it ill from me at all.

In consequence of this reception, my lord Godolphin had the goodness not
only to introduce me for the second time to her majesty, and to the
honour of kissing her hand, but obtained for me the continuance of an
appointment which her majesty had been pleased to make me, in
consideration of a formal special service I had done, and in which I had
run as much risk of my life as a grenadier upon the counterscarp; and
which appointment, however, was first obtained for me at the
intercession of my said first benefactor, and is all owing to that
intercession and her majesty's bounty. Upon this second introduction,
her majesty was pleased to tell me, with a goodness peculiar to herself,
that she had such satisfaction in my former services, that she had
appointed me for another affair, which was something nice, and that my
lord treasurer should tell me the rest; and so I withdrew.

The next day, his lordship having commanded me to attend, told me that
he must send me to Scotland, and gave me but three days to prepare
myself. Accordingly, I went to Scotland, where neither my business, nor
the manner of my discharging it, is material to this tract; nor will it
be ever any part of my character that I reveal what should be concealed.
And yet, my errand was such as was far from being unfit for a sovereign
to direct, or an honest man to perform; and the service I did upon that
occasion, as it is not unknown to the greatest man now in the nation
under the king and the prince, so, I dare say, his grace was never
displeased with the part I had in it, and I hope will not forget it.

These things I mention upon this account, and no other, viz., to state
the obligation I have been in all along to her majesty personally, and
to my first benefactor principally; by which I say, I think I was at
least obliged not to act against them, even in those things which I
might not approve. Whether I have acted with them further than I ought,
shall be spoken of by itself.

Having said thus much of the obligations laid on me, and the persons by
whom, I have this only to add, that I think no man will say, a subject
could be under greater bonds to his prince, or a private person to a
minister of state; and I shall ever preserve this principle, that an
honest man cannot be ungrateful to his benefactor.

But let no man run away now with the notion, that I am now intending to
plead the obligation that was laid upon me from her majesty, or from any
other person, to justify my doing anything that is not otherwise to be
justified in itself.

Nothing would be more injurious than such a construction; and therefore
I capitulate for so much justice as to explain myself by this
declaration, viz., that I only speak of those obligations as binding me
to a negative conduct, not to fly in the face of, or concern myself in
disputes with those to whom I was under such obligations, although I
might not, in my judgment, join in many things that were done. No
obligation could excuse me in calling evil good, or good evil; but I am
of the opinion, that I might justly think myself obliged to defend what
I thought was to be defended, and to be silent in anything which I might
think was not.

If this is a crime, I must plead guilty, and give in the history of my
obligation above mentioned as an extenuation at least, if not a
justification of my conduct.

Suppose a man's father was guilty of several things unlawful and
unjustifiable; a man may heartily detest the unjustifiable thing, and
yet it ought not to be expected that he should expose his father. I
think the case on my side exactly the same, nor can the duty to a parent
be more strongly obliging than the obligation laid on me; but I must
allow the case on the other side not the same.

And this brings me to the affirmative, and inquire what the matters of
fact are; what I have done, or have not done, on account of these
obligations which I am under.

It is a general suggestion, and is affirmed with such assurance, that
they tell me it is in vain to contradict it, that I have been employed
by the earl of Oxford, late lord treasurer, in the late disputes about
public affairs, to write for him, or, to put it into their own
particulars, have written by his directions taken the materials from
him, been dictated to or instructed by him, or by other persons from
him, by his order, and the like; and that I have received a pension, or
salary, or payment from his lordship for such services as these. It was
impossible, since these things have been so confidently affirmed, but
that, if I could put it into words that would more fully express the
meaning of these people, I profess I would do it. One would think that
some evidence might be produced, some facts might appear, some one or
other might be found that could speak of certain knowledge. To say
things have been carried too closely to be discovered, is saying
nothing, for then they must own that it is not discovered; and how then
can they affirm it as they do, with such an assurance as nothing ought
to be affirmed by honest men, unless they were able to prove it?

To speak, then, to the fact. Were the reproach upon me only in this
particular, I should not mention it. I should not think it a reproach to
be directed by a man to whom the queen had at that time entrusted the
administration of the government. But, as it is a reproach upon his
lordship, justice requires that I do right in this case. The thing is
true or false. I would recommend it to those who would be called honest
men, to consider but one thing, viz., what if it should not be true? Can
they justify the injury done to that person, or to any person concerned?
If it cannot be proved, if no vestiges appear to ground it upon, how can
they charge men upon rumours and reports, and join to run down men's
characters by the stream of clamour?

  _Sed quo rapit impetus undæ._

In answer to the charge, I bear witness to posterity, that every part of
it is false and forged. And I do solemnly protest, in the fear and
presence of Him that shall judge us all, both the slanderers and the
slandered, that I have not received any instructions, directions,
orders, or let them call it what they will, of that kind, for the
writing of any part of what I have written, or any materials for the
putting together for the forming any book or pamphlet whatsoever, from
the said earl of Oxford, late lord treasurer, or from any person by his
order or direction, since the time that the late earl of Godolphin was
lord treasurer. Neither did I ever show, or cause to be shown to his
lordship, for his approbation, correction, alteration, or for any other
cause, any book, paper, or pamphlet which I have written and published,
before the same was worked off at the press and published.

If any man living can detect me of the least prevarication in this, or
in any part of it, I desire him to do it by all means; and I challenge
all the world to do it. And if they cannot, then I appeal, as in my
title, to the honour and justice of my worst enemies, to know upon what
foundation of truth or conscience they can affirm these things, and for
what it is that I bear these reproaches.

In all my writing, I ever capitulated for my liberty to speak according
to my own judgment of things; I ever had that liberty allowed me, nor
was I ever imposed upon to write this way or that against my judgment by
any person whatsoever.

I come now historically to the point of time when my lord Godolphin was
dismissed from his employment, and the late unhappy division broke out
at court. I waited on my lord the day he was displaced, and humbly asked
his lordship's direction what course I should take? His lordship's
answer was, "that he had the same goodwill to assist me, but not the
same power; that I was the queen's servant, and that all he had done for
me was by her majesty's special and particular direction; and that
whoever should succeed him, it was not material to me; he supposed I
should be employed in nothing relating to the present differences. My
business was to wait till I saw things settled, and then apply myself to
the ministers of state, to receive her majesty's commands from them."

It occurred to me immediately, as a principle for my conduct, that it
was not material to me what ministers her majesty was pleased to employ;
my duty was to go along with every ministry, so far as they did not
break in upon the constitution, and the laws and liberties of my
country; my part being only the duty of a subject, viz., to submit to
all lawful commands, and to enter into no service which was not
justifiable by the laws; to all which I have exactly obliged myself.

By this, I was providentially cast back upon my original benefactor,
who, according to his wonted goodness, was pleased to lay my case before
her majesty; and thereby I preserved my interest in her majesty's
favour, but without any engagement of service.

As for consideration, pension, gratification, or reward, I declare to
all the world I have had none, except only that old appointment which
her majesty was pleased to make me in the days of the ministry of my
lord Godolphin; of which I have spoken already, and which was for
services done in a foreign country some years before. Neither have I
been employed, directed, or ordered by my lord treasurer aforesaid to
do, or not to do, anything in the affairs of the unhappy differences
which have so long perplexed us, and for which I have so many, and such
unjust reproaches.

I come next to enter into the matters of fact, and what it is I have
done, or not done, which may justify the treatment I have met with; and
first, for the negative part, what I have not done.

The first thing in the unhappy breaches which have fallen out, is the
heaping up scandal upon the persons and conduct of men of honour on one
side as well as the other; those unworthy methods of falling upon one
another by personal calumny and reproach. This I have often in print
complained of as an unchristian, ungenerous, and unjustifiable practice.
Not a word can be found in all I have written reflecting on the persons
or conduct of any of the former ministry. I served her majesty under
their administration; they acted honourably and justly in every
transaction in which I had the honour to be concerned with them, and I
never published or said anything dishonourable of any of them in my
life; nor can the worst enemy I have produce any such thing against me.
I always regretted the change, and looked upon it as a great disaster to
the nation in general, I am sure it was so to me in particular; and the
divisions and feuds among parties which followed that change were
doubtless a disaster to us all.

The next thing that followed the change was the peace: no man can say
that ever I once said in my life that I approved of the peace. I wrote a
public paper at that time, and there it remains upon record against me.
I printed it openly, and that so plainly as others durst not do, that I
did not like the peace; neither that which was made, nor that which was
before making; that I thought the protestant interest was not taken care
of in either; and that the peace I was for was such as should neither
have given the Spanish monarchy to the house of Bourbon nor to the house
of Austria, but that this bone of contention should have been broken to
pieces, that it might not be dangerous to Europe; and that the
protestant powers, viz., Britain and the States, should have so
strengthened and fortified their interest by their sharing the commerce
and strength of Spain, as should have made them no more afraid of France
or the emperor: so that the protestant interest should have been
superior to all the powers of Europe, and been in no more danger of
exorbitant powers whether French or Austrian. This was the peace I
always argued for, pursuant to the design of king William in the Treaty
of Partition, and pursuant to that article of the grand alliance which
was directed by the same glorious hand at the beginning of this last
war, viz., that all we should conquer in the Spanish West Indies should
be our own.

This was the true design, that England and Holland should have turned
their naval power, which was eminently superior to that of France, to
the conquest of the Spanish West Indies, by which the channel of trade
and return of bullion, which now enriches the enemies of both, had been
ours; and as the wealth, so the strength of the world had been in
protestant hands. Spain, whoever had it, must then have been dependent
upon us. The house of Bourbon would have found it so poor without us, as
to be scarce worth fighting for: and the people so averse to them, for
want of their commerce, as not to make it ever likely that France could
keep it.

This was the foundation I ever acted upon with relation to the peace. It
is true, that when it was made, and could not be otherwise, I thought
our business was to make the best of it, and rather to inquire what
improvements were to be made of it, than to be continually exclaiming at
those who made it; and where the objection lies against this part, I
cannot yet see.

While I spoke of things in this manner, I bore infinite reproaches from
clamouring pens, of being in the French interest, being hired and bribed
to defend a bad peace, and the like; and most of this was upon a
supposition of my writing, or being the author of, abundance of
pamphlets which came out every day, and which I had no hand in. And
indeed, as I shall observe again by and by, this was one of the greatest
pieces of injustice that could be done me, and which I labour still
under without any redress; that whenever any piece comes out which is
not liked, I am immediately charged with being the author; and very
often the first knowledge I have had of a book being published, has
been from seeing myself abused for being the author of it, in some other
pamphlet published in answer to it.

Finding myself treated in this manner, I declined writing at all, and
for a great part of a year never set pen to paper, except in the public
paper called the Review. After this I was long absent in the north of
England; and, observing the insolence of the jacobite party, and how
they insinuated fine things into the heads of the common people, of the
right and claim of the pretender, and of the great things he would do
for us if he were to come in; of his being to turn a protestant, of his
being resolved to maintain our liberties, support our friends, give
liberty to dissenters, and the like; and finding that the people began
to be deluded, and that the jacobites gained ground among them by these
insinuations, I thought it the best service I could do the protestant
interest, and the best way to open people's eyes of the protestant
succession, if I took some course effectually to alarm the people with
what they really ought to expect, if the pretender should come to be
king. And this made me set pen to paper again.

And this brings me to the affirmative part, or to what really I have
done; and in this, I am sorry to say, I have one of the foulest, most
unjust, and unchristian clamours to complain of, that any man has
suffered, I believe, since the days of the tyranny of king James II. The
fact is thus:--

In order to detect the influence of jacobite emissaries, as above, the
first thing I wrote was a small tract, called A Seasonable Caution; a
book sincerely written to open the eyes of the poor, ignorant country
people, and to warn them against the subtle insinuations of the
emissaries of the pretender; and that it might be effectual to that
purpose, I prevailed with several of my friends to give them away among
the poor people, all over England, especially in the north; and several
thousands were actually given away, the price being reduced so low, that
the bare expense of paper and press was only preserved, that every one
might be convinced that nothing of gain was designed, but a sincere
endeavour to do a public good, and assist to keep the people entirely in
the interest of the protestant succession.

Next to this, and with the same sincere design, I wrote two pamphlets,
one entituled, What if the Pretender should come? the other, Reasons
against the Succession of the House of Hanover.

Nothing can be more plain than that the titles of these books were
amusements, in order to put the books into the hands of those people
whom the jacobites had deluded, and to bring them to be read by them.

Previous to what I shall further say of these books, I must observe that
all these books met with so general a reception and approbation among
those who were most sincere for the protestant succession, that they
sent them all over the kingdom, and recommended them to the people as
excellent and useful pieces; insomuch that about seven editions of them
were printed, and they were reprinted in other places. And I do protest,
had his present majesty, then elector of Hanover, given me a thousand
pounds to have written for the interest of his succession, and to expose
and render the interest of the pretender odious and ridiculous, I could
have done nothing more effectual to those purposes than these books

And that I may make my worst enemies, to whom this is a fair appeal,
judges of this, I must take leave, by and by, to repeat some of the
expressions in these books, which were direct and need no explanation,
which I think no man that was in the interest of the pretender, nay,
which no man but one who was entirely in the interest of the Hanover
succession, could write.

Nothing can be severer in the fate of a man than to act so between two
parties, that both sides should be provoked against him. It is certain,
the jacobites cursed those tracts and the author, and when they came to
read them, being deluded by the titles according to the design, they
threw them by with the greatest indignation imaginable. Had the
pretender ever come to the throne, I could have expected nothing but
death, and all the ignominy and reproach that the most inveterate enemy
of his person and claim could be supposed to suffer.

On the other hand, I leave it to any considering man to judge, what a
surprise it must be to me to meet with all the public clamour that
informers could invent, as being guilty of writing against the Hanover
succession, and as having written several pamphlets in favour of the

No man in this nation ever had a more rivetted aversion to the
pretender, and to all the family he pretended to come of, than I; a man
that had been in arms under the duke of Monmouth, against the cruelty
and arbitrary government of his pretended father; that for twenty years
had to my utmost opposed him (king James) and his party after his
abdication; and had served king William to his satisfaction, and the
friends of the revolution after his death, at all hazards and upon all
occasions; that had suffered and been ruined under the administration of
high-fliers and jacobites, of whom some at this day counterfeit whigs.
It could not be! The nature of the thing could by no means allow it; it
must be monstrous; and that the wonder may cease, I shall take leave to
quote some of the expressions out of these books, of which the worst
enemy I have in the world is left to judge whether they are in favour of
the pretender or no; but of this in its place. For these books I was
prosecuted, taken into custody, and obliged to give 800_l._ bail.

I do not in the least object here against, or design to reflect upon,
the proceedings of the judges which were subsequent to this. I
acknowledged then, and now acknowledge again, that upon the information
given, there was a sufficient ground for all they did; and my unhappy
entering upon my own vindication in print, while the case was before
their lordships in a judicial way, was an error which I did not
understand, and which I did not foresee; and therefore, although I had
great reason to reflect upon the informers, yet I was wrong in making
that defence in the manner and time I then made it; and which when I
found, I made no scruple afterwards to petition the judges, and
acknowledge they had just ground to resent it. Upon which petition and
acknowledgment their lordships were pleased, with particular marks of
goodness, to release me, and not to take the advantage of an error of
ignorance, as if it had been considered and premeditated.

But against the informers I think I have great reason to complain; and
against the injustice of those writers who, in many pamphlets, charged
me with writing for the pretender, and the government with pardoning an
author who wrote for the pretender. And, indeed, the justice of these
men can be in nothing more clearly stated than in this case of mine;
where the charge, in their printed papers and public discourse, was
brought; not that they themselves believed me guilty of the crime, but
because it was necessary to blacken the man, that a general reproach
might serve for an answer to whatever he should say that was not for
their turn. So that it was the person, not the crime, they fell upon;
and they may justly be said to persecute for the sake of persecution, as
will thus appear.

This matter making some noise, people began to inquire into it, and ask
what De Foe was prosecuted for, seeing the books were manifestly written
against the pretender, and for the interest of the house of Hanover. And
my friends expostulated freely with some of the men who appeared in it,
who answered with more truth than honesty, that they knew this book had
nothing in it, and that it was meant another way; but that De Foe had
disobliged them in other things, and they were resolved to take the
advantage they had, both to punish and expose him. They were no
inconsiderable people who said this; and had the case come to a trial, I
had provided good evidence to prove the words.

This is the christianity and justice by which I have been treated, and
this in justice is the thing I complain of.

Now, as this was the plot of a few men to see if they could brand me in
the world for a jacobite, and persuade rash and ignorant people that I
was turned about for the pretender, I think they might as easily have
proved me to be a mahometan; therefore, I say, this obliges me to state
the matter as it really stands, that impartial men may judge whether
those books were written for or against the pretender. And this cannot
be better done than by the account of what followed after the
information, which, in a few words, was this:--

Upon the several days appointed, I appeared at the Queen's Bench bar to
discharge my bail; and at last had an indictment for high crimes and
misdemeanors exhibited against me by her majesty's attorney-general,
which, as I was informed, contained two hundred sheets of paper.

What was the substance of the indictment I shall not mention here,
neither could I enter upon it, having never seen the particulars; but I
was told that I should be brought to trial the very next term.

I was not ignorant that in such cases it is easy to make any book a
libel, and that the jury must have found the matter of fact in the
indictment, viz., that I had written such books, and then what might
have followed I knew not. Wherefore, I thought it was my only way to
cast myself on the clemency of her majesty, of whose goodness I had so
much experience many ways; representing in my petition, that I was far
from the least intention to favour the interest of the pretender, but
that the books were all written with a sincere design to promote the
interest of the house of Hanover; and humbly laid before her majesty, as
I do now before the rest of the world, the books themselves to plead in
my behalf; representing further, that I was maliciously informed against
by those who were willing to put a construction upon the expressions
different from my true meaning; and therefore, flying to her majesty's
goodness and clemency, I entreated her gracious pardon.

It was not only the native disposition of her majesty to acts of
clemency and goodness that obtained me this pardon; but, as I was
informed, her majesty was pleased to express it in the council, "She saw
nothing but private pique in the first prosecution." And therefore I
think I cannot give a better and clearer vindication of myself; than
what is contained in the preamble to the pardon which her majesty was
pleased to grant me; and I must be allowed to say to those who are still
willing to object, that I think what satisfied her majesty might be
sufficient to satisfy them; and I can assure them that this pardon was
not granted without her majesty's being specially and particularly
acquainted with the things alleged in the petition, the books also being
looked into, to find the expressions quoted in the petition. The
preamble to the patent for a pardon, as far as relates to the matters of
fact, runs thus:--

     "Whereas, in the term of the Holy Trinity last past, our
     attorney-general did exhibit an information, in our court of
     Queen's Bench at Westminster, against Daniel De Foe, late of
     London, gent., for writing, printing, and publishing, and causing
     to be written, printed, and published, three libels, the one
     entituled, Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover;
     with an Inquiry how far the Abdication of King James, supposing it
     to be legal, ought to affect the person of the Pretender. One
     other, entituled, And what if the Pretender should come? or, Some
     Considerations of the Advantages and real Consequences of the
     Pretender's possessing the Crown of Great Britain. And one other,
     entituled, An Answer to a Question that nobody thinks of, viz.,
     What if the Queen should die?

     "And whereas the said Daniel De Foe hath by his humble petition
     represented to us, that he, with a sincere design to propagate the
     interest of the Hanover succession, and to animate the people
     against the designs of the pretender, whom he always looked on as
     an enemy to our sacred person and government, did publish the said
     pamphlets: in all which books, although the titles seemed to look
     as if written in favour of the pretender, and several expressions,
     as in all ironical writing it must be, may be wrested against the
     true design of the whole, and turned to a meaning quite different
     from the intention of the author, yet the petitioner humbly
     assures us, in the solemnest manner, that his true and only design
     in all the said books was, by an ironical discourse of recommending
     the pretender, in the strongest and most forcible manner to expose
     his designs, and the ruinous consequences of his succeeding
     therein; which, as the petitioner humbly represents, will appear to
     our satisfaction by the books themselves, where the following
     expressions are very plain: viz:, 'That the pretender is
     recommended as a person proper to amass the English liberties into
     his own sovereignty; supply them with the privilege of wearing
     wooden shoes; easing them of the trouble of choosing parliaments;
     and the nobility and gentry of the hazard and expense of winter
     journeys, by governing them in that more righteous method, of his
     absolute will, and enforcing the laws by a glorious standing army;
     paying all the nation's debts at once by stopping the funds and
     shutting up the exchequer; easing and quieting their differences in
     religion, by bringing them to the union of popery, or leaving them
     at liberty to have no religion at all:' that these were some of the
     very expressions in the said books, which the petitioner sincerely
     designed to expose and oppose, and as far as in him lies, the
     interest of the pretender, and with no other intention;
     nevertheless, the petitioner, to his great surprise, has been
     misrepresented, and his said books misconstrued, as if written in
     favour of the pretender; and the petitioner is now under
     prosecution for the same; which prosecution, if further carried on,
     will be the utter ruin of the petitioner and his family. Wherefore,
     the petitioner, humbly assuring us of the innocence of his design
     as aforesaid, flies to our clemency, and most humbly prays our most
     gracious and free pardon.

     "We, taking the premises and the circumstances of the petitioner
     into our royal consideration, are graciously pleased to extend our
     royal mercy to the petitioner. Our will and pleasure therefore is,
     that you prepare a bill for our royal signature, to pass our great
     seal, containing our gracious and free pardon unto him, the said
     Daniel De Foe, of the offences aforementioned, and of all
     indictments, convictions, pains, penalties, and forfeitures
     incurred thereby; and you are to insert therein all such apt
     beneficial clauses as you shall deem requisite to make this our
     intended pardon more full, valid, and effectual; and for so doing,
     this shall be your warrant. Given at our castle at Windsor, the
     twentieth day of November, 1713, in the twentieth year of our
     reign. By her majesty's command.


Let any indifferent man judge whether I was not treated with particular
malice in this matter; who was, notwithstanding this, reproached in the
daily public prints with having written treasonable books in behalf of
the pretender; nay, and in some of those books, as before, the queen
herself was reproached with having granted her pardon to an author who
writ for the pretender.

I think I might with much more justice say, I was the first man that
ever was obliged to seek a pardon for writing for the Hanover
succession, and the first man that these people ever sought to ruin for
writing against the pretender. For, if ever a book was sincerely
designed to further and propagate the affection and zeal of the nation
against the pretender, nay, and was made use of, and that with success
too, for that purpose, these books were so; and I ask no more favour of
the world to determine the opinion of honest men for or against me, than
what is drawn constructively from these books. Let one word, either
written or spoken by me, either published or not published, be produced,
that was in the least disrespectful to the protestant succession, or to
any branch of the family of Hanover, or that can be judged to be
favourable to the interest or person of the pretender, and I will be
willing to waive her majesty's pardon, and render myself to public
justice, to be punished for it, as I should well deserve.

I freely and openly challenge the worst of my enemies to charge me with
any discourse, conversation, or behaviour, in my whole life, which had
the least word in it injurious to the protestant succession, unbecoming
or disrespectful to any of the persons of the royal family of Hanover,
or the least favourable word of the persons, the designs, or friends of
the pretender. If they can do it, let them stand forth and speak; no
doubt but that they may be heard; and I, for my part, will relinquish
all pleas, pardons, and defences, and cast myself into the hands of
justice. Nay, to go further, I defy them to prove that I ever kept
company, or had any society, friendship, or conversation, with any
jacobite. So averse have I been to the interest and the people, that I
have studiously avoided their company on all occasions.

As nothing in the world has been more my aversion than the society of
jacobites, so nothing can be a greater misfortune to me than to be
accused and publicly reproached with what is, of all things in the
world, most abhorred by me; and that which has made it the more
afflicting is, that this charge arises from those very things which I
did with the sincerest design to manifest the contrary.

But such is my present fate, and I am to submit to it; which I do with
meekness and calmness, as to a judgment from heaven, and am practising
that duty which I have studied long ago, of forgiving my enemies, and
praying for them that despitefully use me.

Having given this brief history of the pardon, &c., I hope the impartial
part of the world will grant me, that being thus graciously delivered a
second time from the cruelty of my implacable enemies, and the ruin of a
cruel and unjust persecution, and that by the mere clemency and
goodness, my obligation to her majesty's goodness was far from being
made less than it was before.

I have now run through the history of my obligation to her majesty, and
to the person of my benefactor aforesaid. I shall state everything that
followed this with all the clearness I can, and leave myself liable to
as little cavil as I may; for I see myself assaulted by a sort of people
who will do me no justice. I hear a great noise made of punishing those
that are guilty, but, as I said before, not one word of clearing those
that are innocent; and I must say, in this part they treat me, not only
as I were no Christian, but as if they themselves were not Christians.
They will neither prove the charge nor hear the defence, which is the
unjustest thing in the world.

I foresee what will be alleged to the clause of my obligation, &c., to
great persons, and I resolve to give my adversaries all the advantage
they can desire by acknowledging beforehand, that no obligation to the
queen, or to any benefactor, can justify any man's acting against the
interest of his country, against his principles, his conscience, and his
former profession.

I think this will anticipate all that can be said upon that head, and it
will then remain to tell the fact, as I am not chargeable with it; which
I shall do as clearly as possible in a few words.

It is none of my work to enter into the conduct of the queen or of the
ministry in this case; the question is not what they have done, but what
I have done; and though I am very far from thinking of them as some
other people think, yet, for the sake of the present argument, I am to
give them all up, and suppose, though not granting, that all which is
suggested of them by the worst temper, the most censorious writer, the
most scandalous pamphlet or lampoon should be true; and I'll go through
some of the particulars, as I meet with them in public.

1st. That they made a scandalous peace, unjustly broke the alliance,
betrayed the confederates, and sold us all to the French.

God forbid it should be all truth, in the manner that we see it in
print; but that I say is none of my business. But what hand had I in all
this? I never wrote one word for the peace before it was made, or to
justify it after it was made; let them produce it if they can. Nay, in a
Review upon that subject while it was making, I printed it in plainer
words than other men durst speak it at that time, that I did not like
the peace, nor did I like any peace that was making since that of the
partition, and that the protestant interest was not taken care of either
in that or the treaty of Gertrudenburgh before it.

It is true that I did say, that since the peace was made, and we could
not help it, that it was our business and our duty to make the best of
it, to make the utmost advantage of it by commerce, navigation, and all
kind of improvement that we could, and this I say still; and I must
think it is more our duty to do so than the exclamations against the
thing itself, which it is not in our power to retrieve. This is all that
the worst enemy I have can charge me with. After the peace was made, and
the Dutch and the emperor stood out, I gave my opinion of what I
foresaw would necessarily be the consequence of that difference, viz.,
that it would inevitably involve these nations in a war with one or
other of them; any one who was master of common sense in the public
affairs might see that the standing out of the Dutch could have no other
event. For if the confederates had conquered the French, they would
certainly have fallen upon us by way of resentment, and there was no
doubt but the same councils that led us to make a peace would oblige us
to maintain it, by preventing too great impressions upon the French.

On the other hand, I alleged, that should the French prevail against the
Dutch, unless he stopped at such limitations of conquest as the treaty
obliged him to do, we must have been under the same necessity to renew
the war against France; and for this reason, seeing we had made a peace,
we were obliged to bring the rest of the confederates into it, and to
bring the French to give them all such terms as they ought to be
satisfied with.

This way of arguing was either so little understood, or so much
maligned, that I suffered innumerable reproaches in print for having
written for a war with the Dutch, which was neither in the expression,
nor ever in my imagination; but I pass by these injuries as small and
trifling compared to others I suffer under.

However, one thing I must say of the peace, let it be good or ill in
itself, I cannot but think we have all reason to rejoice in behalf of
his present majesty, that at his accession to the crown he found the
nation in peace, and had the hands of the king of France tied up by a
peace so as not to be able, without the most infamous breach of
articles, to offer the least disturbance to his taking a quiet and
leisurely possession, or so much as to countenance those that would.

Not but that I believe, if the war had been at the height, we should
have been able to have preserved the crown for his present majesty, its
only rightful lord; but I will not say it should have been so easy, so
bloodless, so undisputed as now; and all the difference must be
acknowledged to the peace, and this is all the good I ever yet said of

I come next to the general clamour of the ministry being for the
pretender. I must speak my sentiments solemnly and plainly, as I always
did in that matter, viz., that if it was so, I did not see it, nor did I
ever see reason to believe it; this I am sure of, that if it was so, I
never took one step in that kind of service, nor did I ever hear one
word spoken by any one of the ministry that I had the honour to know or
converse with, that favoured the pretender; but have had the honour to
hear them all protest that there was no design to oppose the succession
of Hanover in the least.

It may be objected to me, that they might be in the interest of the
pretender for all that; it is true they might, but that is nothing to
me. I am not vindicating their conduct, but my own; as I never was
employed in anything that way, so I do still protest I do not believe it
was ever in their design, and I have many reasons to confirm my thoughts
in that case, which are not material to the present case. But be that as
it will, it is enough to me that I acted nothing in any such interest,
neither did I ever sin against the protestant succession of Hanover in
thought, word, or deed; and if the ministry did, I did not see it, or so
much as suspect them of it.

It was a disaster to the ministry, to be driven to the necessity of
taking that set of men by the hand, who nobody can deny, were in that
interest; but as the former ministry answered, when they were charged
with a design to overthrow the church, because they favoured, joined
with, and were united to the dissenters; I say they answered, that they
made use of the dissenters, but granted them nothing (which, by the way,
was too true;) so these gentlemen answer, that it is true they made use
of jacobites, but did nothing for them.

But this by the by. Necessity is pleaded by both parties for doing
things which neither side can justify. I wish both sides would for ever
avoid the necessity of doing evil; for certainly it is the worst plea in
the world, and generally made use of for the worst things.

I have often lamented the disaster which I saw employing jacobites was
to the late ministry, and certainly it gave the greatest handle to the
enemies of the ministry to fix that universal reproach upon them of
being in the interest of the pretender. But there was no medium. The
whigs refused to show them a safe retreat, or to give them the least
opportunity to take any other measures, but at the risk of their own
destruction; and they ventured upon that course in hopes of being able
to stand alone at last without help of either the one or the other; in
which they were no doubt, mistaken.

However, in this part, as I was always assured, and have good reason
still to believe, that her majesty was steady in the interest of the
house of Hanover, and as nothing was ever offered to me, or required of
me, to the prejudice of that interest, on what ground can I be
reproached with the secret reserved designs of any, if they had such
designs, as I still verily believe they had not?

I see there are some men who would fain persuade the world, that every
man that was in the interest of the late ministry, or employed by the
late government, or that served the late queen, was for the pretender.

God forbid this should be true; and I think there needs very little to
be said in answer to it. I can answer for myself, that it is notoriously
false; and I think the easy and uninterrupted accession of his majesty
to the crown contradicts it. I see no end which such a suggestion aims
at, but to leave an odium upon all that had any duty or regard to her
late majesty.

A subject is not always master of his sovereign's measures, nor always
to examine what persons or parties the prince he serves employs, so be
it that they break not in upon the constitution; that they govern
according to law, and that he is employed in no illegal act, or have
nothing desired of him inconsistent with the liberties and laws of his
country. If this be not right, then a servant of the king's is in a
worse case than a servant to any private person.

In all these things I have not erred; neither have I acted or done
anything in the whole course of my life, either in the service of her
majesty or of her ministry, that any one can say has the least deviation
from the strictest regard to the protestant succession, and to the laws
and liberties of my country.

I never saw an arbitrary action offered at, a law dispensed with,
justice denied, or oppression set up, either by queen or ministry, in
any branch of the administration, wherein I had the least concern.

If I have sinned against the whigs, it has been all negatively, viz.,
that I have not joined in the loud exclamations against the queen and
against the ministry, and against their measures; and if this be my
crime, my plea is twofold.

1. I did not really see cause for carrying their complaints to that
violent degree.

2. Where I did see what, as before, I lamented and was sorry for, and
could not join with or approve,--as joining with jacobites, the peace,
&c.,--my obligation is my plea for my silence.

I have all the good thoughts of the person, and good wishes for the
prosperity of my benefactor, that charity and that gratitude can inspire
me with. I ever believed him to have the true interest of the protestant
religion and of his country in his view; and if it should be otherwise,
I should be very sorry. And I must repeat it again, that he always left
me so entirely to my own judgment, in everything I did, that he never
prescribed to me what I should write, or should not write, in my life;
neither did he ever concern himself to dictate to or restrain me in any
kind; nor did he see any one tract that I ever wrote before it was
printed; so that all the notion of my writing by his direction is as
much a slander upon him as it is possible anything of that kind can be;
and if I have written anything which is offensive, unjust, or untrue, I
must do that justice as to declare, he has no hand in it; the crime is
my own.

As the reproach of his directing me to write is a slander upon the
person I am speaking of, so that of my receiving pensions and payments
from him for writing, is a slander upon me; and I speak it with the
greatest sincerity, seriousness, and solemnity that it is possible for a
Christian man to speak, that except the appointment I mentioned before,
which her majesty was pleased to make me formerly, and which I received
during the time of my lord Godolphin's ministry, I have not received of
the late lord treasurer, or of any one else by his order, knowledge, or
direction, one farthing, or the value of a farthing, during his whole
administration; nor has all the interest I have been supposed to have in
his lordship been able to procure me the arrears due to me in the time
of the other ministry. So help me God.

I am under no necessity of making this declaration. The services I did,
and for which her majesty was pleased to make me a small allowance, are
known to the greatest men in the present administration; and some of
them were then of the opinion, and I hope are so still, that I was not
unworthy of her majesty's favour. The effect of those services, however
small, is enjoyed by those great persons and by the whole nation to this
day; and I had the honour once to be told, that they should never be
forgotten. It is a misfortune that no man can avoid, to forfeit for his
deference to the person and services of his queen, to whom he was
inexpressibly obliged; and if I am fallen under the displeasure of the
present government for anything I ever did in obedience to her majesty
in the past, I may say it is my disaster; but I can never say it is my

This brings me again to that other oppression which, as I said, I suffer
under, and which, I think, is of a kind that no man ever suffered under
so much as myself; and this is to have every libel, every pamphlet, be
it ever so foolish, so malicious, so unmannerly, or so dangerous, be
laid at my door, and be called publicly by my name. It has been in vain
for me to struggle with this injury; it has been in vain for me to
protest, to declare solemnly, nay, if I would have sworn that I had no
hand in such a book or paper, never saw it, never read it, and the like,
it was the same thing.

My name has been hackneyed about the street by the hawkers, and about
the coffeehouses by the politicians, at such a rate as no patience could
bear. One man will swear to the style; another to this or that
expression; another to the way of printing; and all so positive that it
is to no purpose to oppose it.

I published once, to stop this way of using me, that I would print
nothing but what I set my name to, and held it for a year or two; but it
was all one; I had the same treatment. I now have resolved for some time
to write nothing at all, and yet I find it the same thing; two books
lately published being called mine, for no other reason that I know of
than that at the request of the printer, I revised two sheets of them at
the press, and that they seemed to be written in favour of a certain
person; which person, also, as I have been assured, had no hand in them,
or any knowledge of them, till they were published in print.

This is a flail which I have no fence against, but to complain of the
injustice of it, and that is but _the shortest way_ to be treated with
more injustice.

There is a mighty charge against me for being author and publisher of a
paper called the 'Mercator.' I will state the fact first, and then speak
to the subject.

It is true, that being desired to give my opinion in the affair of the
commerce with France, I did, as I often had done in print many years
before, declare that it was my opinion we ought to have an open trade
with France, because I did believe we might have the advantage by such a
trade; and of this opinion I am still. What part I had in the Mercator
is well known; and could men answer with argument, and not with personal
abuse, I would at any time defend every part of the Mercator which was
of my doing. But to say the Mercator was mine, is false; I neither was
the author of it, had the property of it, the printing of it, or the
profit by it. I had never any payment or reward for writing any part of
it, nor had I the power to put what I would into it. Yet the whole
clamour fell upon me, because they knew not who else to load with it.
And when they came to answer, the method was instead of argument, to
threaten and reflect upon me, reproach me with private circumstances and
misfortunes, and give language which no Christian ought to give, and
which no gentleman ought to take.

I thought any Englishman had the liberty to speak his opinion in such
things, for this had nothing to do with the public. The press was open
to me as well as to others; and how or when I lost my English liberty of
speaking my mind, I know not; neither how my speaking my opinion without
fee or reward, could authorise them to call me villain, rascal, traitor,
and such opprobrious names.

It was ever my opinion, and is so still, that were our wool kept from
France, and our manufactures spread in France upon reasonable duties,
all the improvements which the French have made in the woollen
manufactures would decay, and in the end be little worth; and
consequently, the hurt they could do us by them would be of little

It was my opinion, and is so still, that the ninth article of the treaty
of commerce was calculated for the advantage of our trade, let who will
make it. That is nothing to me. My reasons are because it tied up the
French to open the door to our manufactures at a certain duty of
importation there, and left the parliament of Britain at liberty to shut
theirs out by as high duties as they pleased here, there being no
limitation upon us as to duties on French goods; but that other nations
should pay the same.

While the French were thus bound, and the British free, I always thought
we must be in a condition to trade to advantage, or it must be our own
fault. This was my opinion, and is so still; and I would venture to
maintain it against any man upon a public stage, before a jury of fifty
merchants, and venture my life upon the cause, if I were assured of fair
play in the dispute. But that it was my opinion that we might carry on a
trade with France to our great advantage, and that we ought for that
reason to trade with them, appears in the third, fourth, fifth, and
sixth volumes of the Review, above nine years before the Mercator was
thought of. It was not thought criminal to say so then; how it come to
be villanous to say so now, God knows; I can give no account of it. I am
still of the same opinion, and shall never be brought to say otherwise,
unless I see the state of trade so altered as to alter my opinion; and
if ever I do I shall be able to give good reasons for it.

The answer to these things, whether mine or no, was all pointed at me,
and the arguments were generally in the terms villain, rascal,
miscreant, liar, bankrupt, fellow, hireling, turncoat, &c. What the
arguments were bettered by these methods, I leave others to judge of.
Also, most of those things in the Mercator, for which I had such usage,
were such as I was not the author of.

I do grant, had all the books which had been called by my name been
written by me, I must of necessity have exasperated every side; and
perhaps have deserved it; but I have the greatest injustice imaginable
in this treatment, as I have in the perverting the design of what I have
really written.

To sum up, therefore, my complaint in a few words:--

I was, from my first entering into the knowledge of public matters, and
have ever been to this day, a sincere lover of the constitution of my
country; zealous for liberty and the protestant interest; but a
constant follower of moderate principles, a vigorous opposer of hot
measures in all parties. I never once changed my opinion, my principles,
or my party: and let what will be said of changing sides, this I
maintain, that I never once deviated from the revolution principles, nor
from the doctrine of liberty and property on which it was founded.

I own I could never be convinced of the great danger of the pretender in
the time of the late ministry, nor can I be now convinced of the great
danger of the church under this ministry. I believe the cry of the one
was politically made use of then to serve other designs, and I plainly
see the like use made of the other now. I spoke my mind freely then, and
I have done the like now, in a small tract to that purpose not yet made
public; and which if I live to publish I will publicly own, as I purpose
to do everything I write, that my friends may know when I am abused, and
they imposed on.

It has been the disaster of all parties in this nation to be very hot in
their turn; and as often as they have been so I have differed with them,
and ever must and shall do so. I will repeat some of the occasions on
the whigs' side, because from that quarter the accusation of my turning
about comes.

The first time I had the misfortune to differ with my friends was about
the year 1683, when the Turks were besieging Vienna, and the whigs in
England, generally speaking, were for the Turks taking it, which I,
having read the history of the cruelty and perfidious dealings of the
Turks in their wars, and how they had rooted out the name of the
Christian religion in above threescore and ten kingdoms, could by no
means agree with. And though then but a young man, and a younger
author, I opposed it, and wrote against it, which was taken very
unkindly indeed.

The next time I differed with my friends was when king James was
wheedling the dissenters to take off the penal laws and test, which I
could by no means come into. And, as in the first, I used to say, I had
rather the popish house of Austria should ruin the protestants in
Hungaria, than the infidel house of Ottoman should ruin both protestants
and papists by overrunning Germany; so, in the other, I told the
dissenters I had rather the church of England should pull our clothes
off by fines and forfeitures, than the papists should fall both upon the
church and the dissenters, and pull our skins off by fire and fagot.

The next difference I had with good men was about the scandalous
practice of occasional conformity, in which I had the misfortune to make
many honest men angry, rather because I had the better of the argument,
than because they disliked what I said.

And now I have lived to see the dissenters themselves very quiet, if not
very well pleased with an act of parliament to prevent it. Their friends
indeed laid it on; they would be friends indeed if they would talk of
taking it off again.

Again, I had a breach with honest men for their maltreating king
William; of which I say nothing, because I think they are now opening
their eyes, and making what amends they can to his memory.

The fifth difference I had with them was about the treaty of Partition,
in which many honest men are mistaken, and in which I told them plainly
then that they would at last end the war upon worse terms; and so it is
my opinion they would have done, though, the treaty of Gertrudenburgh
had taken place.

The sixth time I differed with them was when the old whigs fell upon the
modern whigs, and when the duke of Marlborough and my lord Godolphin
were used by the Observator in a manner worse, I must confess, for the
time it lasted, than ever they were used since; nay, though it were by
Abel and the Examiner; but the success failed. In this dispute my lord
Godolphin did me the honour to tell me, I had served him and his grace
also both faithfully and successfully. But his lordship is dead, and I
have now no testimony of it but what is to be found in the Observator,
where I am plentifully abused for being an enemy to my country, by
acting in the interest of my lord Godolphin and the duke of Marlborough.
What weathercock can turn with such tempers as these!

I am now on the seventh breach with them, and my crime now is, that I
will not believe and say the same things of the queen and the late
treasurer which I could not believe before of my lord Godolphin and the
duke of Marlborough, and which in truth I cannot believe, and therefore
could not say it of either of them; and which, if I had believed, yet I
ought not to have been the man that should have said it for the reasons

In such turns of tempers and times, a man must be tenfold a vicar of
Bray, or it is impossible but he must one time or other be out with
everybody. This is my present condition, and for this I am reviled with
having abandoned my principles, turned jacobite, and what not. God judge
between me and these men. Would they come to any particulars with me,
what real guilt I may have I would freely acknowledge; and if they would
produce any evidence of the bribes, the pensions, and the rewards I
have taken, I would declare honestly whether they were true or no. If
they would give a list of the books which they charge me with, and the
reasons why they lay them at my door, I would acknowledge my mistake,
own what I have done, and let them know what I have not done. But these
men neither show mercy, nor leave place for repentance; in which they
act not only unlike their master, but contrary to his express commands.

It is true, good men have been used thus in former times; and all the
comfort I have is, that these men have not the last judgment in their
hands: if they had, dreadful would be the case of those who oppose them.
But that day will show many men and things also in a different state
from what they may now appear in. Some that now appear clear and fair
will then be seen to be black and foul, and some that are now thought
black and foul will then be approved and accepted; and thither I
cheerfully appeal, concluding this part in the words of the prophet, _I
heard the defaming of many; fear on every side; report, say they, and we
will report it; all my familiars watched for my halting, saying,
peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and
we shall take our revenge on him_. Jer. xx. 10.

Mr. Poole's Annotations has the following remarks on these lines; which,
I think, are so much to that part of my case which is to follow, that I
do not omit them. The words are these:--

"The prophet," says he, "here rendereth a reason why he thought of
giving over his work as a prophet; his ears were continually filled with
the obloquies and reproaches of such as reproached him; and besides, he
was afraid on all hands, there were so many traps laid for him, so many
devices devised against him. They did not only take advantage against
him, but sought advantages, and invited others to raise stories of him;
not only strangers, but those that he might have expected the greatest
kindness from; those that pretended most courteously; 'They watch,' says
he, 'for opportunities to do me justice, and lay in wait for my halting,
desiring nothing more than that I might be enticed to speak, or do
something which they might find matter of a colourable accusation, that
so they might satisfy their malice upon me.' This hath always been the
genius of wicked men. Job and David both made complaints much like
this." These are Mr. Poole's words.

And this leads me to several particulars, in which my case may, without
any arrogance, be likened to that of the sacred prophet, excepting the
vast disparity of the persons.

No sooner was the queen dead, and the king, as right required,
proclaimed, but the rage of men increased upon me to that degree, that
the threats and insults I received were such as I am not able to
express. If I offered to say a word in favour of the present settlement,
it was called fawning, and turning round again; on the other hand,
though I have meddled neither one way nor the other, nor written one
book since the queen's death, yet a great many things are called by my
name, and I bear every day the reproaches which all the answerers of
those books cast, as well upon the subjects as the authors. I have not
seen or spoken to my lord of Oxford but once since the king's landing,
nor received the least message, order, or writing from his lordship, or
any other way corresponded with him, yet he bears the reproach of my
writing in his defence, and I the rage of men for doing it. I cannot
say it is no affliction to me to be thus used, though my being entirely
clear of the facts is a true support to me.

I am unconcerned at the rage and clamour of party men; but I cannot be
unconcerned to hear men, who I think are good men and good Christians,
prepossessed and mistaken about me. However, I cannot doubt but some
time or other it will please God to open such men's eyes. A constant,
steady adhering to personal virtue and to public peace, which, I thank
God, I can appeal to him has always been my practice, will at last
restore me to the opinion of sober and impartial men, and that is all I
desire. What it will do with those who are resolutely partial and
unjust, I cannot say, neither is that much my concern. But I cannot
forbear giving one example of the hard treatment I receive, which has
happened even while I am writing this tract. I have six children; I have
educated them as well as my circumstances will permit, and so as I hope
shall recommend them to better usage than their father meets with in
this world.

I am not indebted one shilling in the world for any part of their
education, or for anything else belonging to their bringing up; yet the
author of the Flying Post published lately that I never paid for the
education of any of my children. If any man in Britain has a shilling to
demand of me for any part of their education, or anything belonging to
them, let them come for it.

But these men care not what injurious things they write, nor what they
say, whether truth or not, if it may but raise a reproach on me, though
it were to be my ruin. I may well appeal to the honour and justice of my
worst enemies in such cases as this:

  _Conscia mens recti fama mendacia ridet._


WHILE this was at the press, and the copy thus far finished, the author
was seized with a violent fit of an apoplexy, whereby he was disabled
finishing what he designed in his further defence; and continuing now
for above six weeks in a weak and languishing condition, neither able to
go on nor likely to recover, at least in any short time, his friends
thought it not fit to delay the publication of this any longer. If he
recovers he may be able to finish what he began; if not, it is the
opinion of most that know him that the treatment which he here complains
of, and some others that he would have spoken of, have been the apparent
cause of his disaster.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Notes:

The transcriber made these changes to the text to correct obvious

  1. p. 10, Jacobities --> Jacobites
  2. p. 12, lordtreasurer --> lord treasurer
  3. p. 20, an as unchristian --> as an unchristian
  4. p. 37, withont --> without

End of Transcriber's Notes]

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