Obrazy na stronie

The Prototype and Plan of the Review.

[Supplementary Journal to the Advice from the

Scandal Club for the month of September, 1704.) T has been objected to the Author, that this design is not new, and is only a Mimic of HARRY Care, in his Weekly Packet of Advice from Rome, with the [Popish] Courant at the end of every Paper.

Such gentlemen do not tell us, whether that Work was valuable or not. They neither give

their judgement on the design, nor on the performance.

If that was a useful Work, well designed, and more happily performed than this Author will pretend to: then these gentlemen say nothing to our Author's disparagement, since all the Wit of Mankind seems now to be composed but of Imitations, and there “is nothing new under the sun.”

If they think that work mean, and the performance dull (which the present scarcity and value of those Collections [i.e., sets of the Weekly Packet] plainly contradict); it remains for those gentlemen to tell us where the meannesses are ? and where the dulness of that Author appears?

It is true, he had his imperfections: and the fury of the Times, the poverty of circumstances, and the unhappy love of his bottle, reduced him too low, for a man of his capacity. But as in all parts of his design, and the length of his happy performance ; he discovered such a spirit, such learning, such strength of reason, and such a sublime fancy; as in which the Author of this cannot esteem himself worthy to carry his books after him: so he shall always value this Undertaking so much the more as it resembles his; and wishes, for the sake of the reader as well as himself, he could come near him in the performance.

Some, we know, have no relish for History, and value therefore only the Entertaining Part of the Review : and by such, we have been often solicited to leave off troubling ourselves with the grave puzzling part of the Paper, telling a long story of the Swedes, Hungarians, and the Lord knows what! and bring our Paper to all mirth, pleasantry, and



Sept. 1704.

delight. And they promise to furnish us with matter enough.

Others, and as many in number as the former, frequently press us “to leave off jesting and bantering," as they call it; and to pursue the vast work which the title leads to, and which the first sheets promised, viz., A Review of the Affairs of France. A subject, say they, truly fruitful, of a vast variety, and suited to an undertaking of the greatest magnitude : and it is a pity it should be clogged with the . impertinence and nonsense of the Scandalous Club.

And thus we are brought before our own Society both ways.

Now, gentlemen, as this design was not at first undertaken without a full prospect of all this variety of judgements and censures : so in all this, there seems nothing material enough to turn the Author from pursuing his first design-which is, the middle between those two extremities.

It is true, the History of the Affairs of France, in all the vast and unobserved parts of its growth and increase, is the main and original thought: and, if the Author lives to carry it on, it shall be brought, in its due time, to the full period, where Providence shall place it, at the very end of this work.

But as all men are not Historians, and even many of those that are care but for a little reading at a time; this design was laid to bring such people to read the Story; which, if it had been always serious, and had proceeded too fast, had been too voluminous, too tedious, either for their leisure or inclination. And thus we wheedle them in (if it may be allowed that expression) to the Knowledge of the World ; who, rather than take more pains, would be content with their ignorance, and search into nothing.

To carry on this honest cheat, and bring people to read with delight; the latter part of this paper was contrived : every jot as useful in its kind; and, if we may be allowed to judge, by common acceptation, as pleasing.

It cannot but be pleasing to the Author, to find both parts of his design so well approved. And therefore to those, who are not equally pleased with both; he says, “ He desires those who like but one Part, to bear with the other; for the sake of those whose judgements approve of what they do not !” Those that like both Parts, need nothing farther to be said to them, than that “ He is glad, he is able to please them!" And those who like neither Part, are welcome to let it alone.

DE FO E's intention to stop the Review with No. 100; and how it came to

be continued.

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(Review, No. 98, Vol. I. p. 408. Saturday, 10 February, 1705.) He Author of the Review having received a letter,

signed F. L. containing Proposals for continuing this Work, but hearing no more of it, supposed it a banter. But having since received a letter,

signed L. A.; several others signed G. M., O. K., and T. W., containing very kind and honourable Offers for the encouragement of the Work: he thinks himself obliged to the Gentlemen, whether it comes to anything or not; and gives them for answer :

He has, gratis, without reward, profit, or promise of any advantage, freely written this Paper a whole year. His encouragement has been, to see wise men approve it, and accept it. But as neither can his affairs permit him to spare so much time as is now required, more than at first ; nor can the sale of so small a Paper make the Publisher able to allow [i.e., to him what may be encouraging and suitable to the trouble: he therefore

concluded to lay it down. But if those Gentlemen (who are pleased so much to value his performance above its merit, as to press him to the continuing it, and have made these Offers) are in earnest, and will either send him their designed Proposal to Mr. Matthews (the Publisher), or give him a meeting : he professes himself willing to oblige them : and will convince them, that he is far from being selfish or unreasonable; and humbly desires their answer before the end of next week.

[Review, No. 100, Vol. I. p. 413. Saturday 17 February, 1705.) This being the last Review of this Volume, and designed to be so, of this Work; the Author cannot close it without

D. Defoe.


Feb. 1703

paying the just debt of duty and acknowledgement to those Gentlemen, who, beyond his merit and expectation, have been pleased to receive it with the same candour and on the same foot[ing] on which it was originally designed, Public Usefulness, Entertainment, and Instruction.

For all his errors, meannesses, and mistakes; for all his digressions, comments, and needless remarks; for all his incorrect, rash, and (unhappily!) too plain expression; for his too freely, too frequently, too positively giving his opinion; for all the sallies out of his province, and invasions of the talent of the Learned, either as Divines or Philosophers; for all his really, or supposed wrong notions of things, places, or persons; for all his unpoliteness of style, improprieties and deformities of every sort, whether in diction or conception; for errors of the Press, errors of the pen, or errors of opinion: he humbly asks his readers' pardon, desires they will place them, with the addition of their charity, to the account of haste, human frailty, and such other incidents of common infirmity as, he presumes, most of his fellow creatures have, more or less, a share of.

To all those Gentlemen of Honour, sense, and reading, who have, beyond his ambition, honoured this Work with their generous approbation, have thought it worth their reading, and worth giving the World the trouble they have had with it; the author returns his most humble acknowledgements: assuring them, he esteems it a full recompense to all his labour, hitherto bestowed gratis upon the World; and values himself more in the approbation of a few wise men that can judge with candour and impartiality, than upon any presumption of his own, or than on the unpolished praises of a crowd, who, wanting no ignorance, speak what they hear others say, and judge without understanding.

As for the censuring, partial, and prejudiced part of mankind; who dislike the work for its unhappy despicable Author, and its Author because his judgement and theirs may not agree: it is in vain to capitulate (stipulate) with them for civility and fair treatment. The rudeness, the heat, the contempt they treat him with, is the less a concern to him, as he sees it plainly produced by their passion, rather than by their judgement.

The nature, usefulness, and advantage of the design, they 622 THE REVIEW NOT TO LE A PARTY PAPER.

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have sometimes been forced to acknowledge, and could like the Work, were it performed by anybody but their humble Servant.

And yet, even to these Gentlemen he has to say, he always endeavoured to give them as little offence as possible. He has avoided making it a Party paper : and considering the numerous insults, assaults, and snares he has met with, to bring him into the article of raillery; he thinks he has said less, on all occasions, than any of the Party writers on the other side would have done in the like case.

When he has engaged with such Gentlemen of a contrary opinion to himself, who have been of temper and manners; he has carefully behaved himself, and to their satisfaction. Though he has not agreed with their opinions; he has defended his own, without offence to their persons, or any breach of decency and behaviour.

He heartily wishes all the Gentlemen on the other side would give him equal occasion to honour them for their charity, temper, and gentlemanlike dealing, as for their learning and virtue ; and that when we cannot agree like Brethren, we might fall out like Gentlemen. And he would willingly capitulate with them, and enter into a treaty or Cartel for Exchange of Good Language with them : and to let all our debates be carried by strength of reasoning and argument, solid proofs, matter of fact, and demonstrations ; and not by dint of Billingsgate storms of raillery, and showers of ill words, that Frenzy of the Tongue ! and Shame of a good Cause !

Among the various questions, the Author has had sent him to answer (a thing altogether foreign to his first design), he had one lately, in the following terms, which he purposely reserved to be answered in this place.



You have given your opinions freely about several sorts of Religions. Pray what religion is your Society (i.e., Scandalous Club] of ?


The truth is, the Author little thought to make a Public Confession of Faith in his Paper; and though he ought

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