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638 D E F OE II AS LAND AND CHILDREN.
Truly, Gentlemen, this is just the case. I saw a parcel of people caballing together to ruin Property, corrupt the Laws, invade the Government, debauch the People; and in short, enslave and embroil the Nation : and I cried “Fire!” or rather, I cried “Water!” for the fire was begun already. I saw all the nation running into confusions, and directly flying in the face of one another, and cried out “ Peace!" Í called upon all sorts of people that had any senses, to collect them together and judge for themselves, what they were going to do; and excited them to lay hold of the madmen, and take from them the wicked weapon, the knife; with which they were going to destroy their mother! rip up the bowels of their country! and at last effectually ruin themselves !
And what had I to do with this ? Why, yes, Gentlemen, I had the same right as every man that has a footing in his country, or that has a posterity to possess Liberty and claim Right, must have : viz., as far as possible to preserve the Laws, Liberty, and Government of that country to which he belongs. And he that charges me with meddling in what does not concern me, meddles himself with what, it is plain he does not understand.
Well, through all the maltreatment of both friends and enemies, I have hitherto, undiscouraged by the worst circumstances, unrewarded and unsupported, pursued the first design of pressing all people that have any regard for the Interest of Religion, the honour of their country, and the good of posterity, to come to a Temper about Party strifes ! to shorten their disputes ! encourage calmness! and revive the old Christian principle of Love to one another.
I shall not boast here of my success. Let the rage and implacable hatred against me, conceived by the enemies of this healing principle; let the confessions of those who reap the benefit and own the service, though they abandon and despise the Instrument; let these be my witnesses! and these shall testify for me, that I have not been an unprofitable servant to anybody but myself! and of that, I am entirely regardless in this case.
From the same zeal with which I first pursued this blessed subject of Peace, I found myself embarked in the farther
De foc:] ATTEMPTS AT REMOVING NATIONAL PREJUDICES 639
extent of it, I mean, THE UNION. If I thought myself obliged, in duty to the Public Interest, to use my utmost endeavour to quiet the minds of enraged Parties; I found myself under a stronger necessity to embark in the same design, between too much enraged Nations.
As to the principle, from which I have acted, I shall leave to the issues of Time, to determine whether it has been sincere or not? Hypocrites only make use of masks and false lights to conceal present reserved designs: Truth and Sincerity only dare appeal to Time and Consequences.
I covet no better testimony of the well-laid design of these Sheets, than that evidence Time and farther light into Truth shall discover !
I saw the Union of the two Kingdoms begun. I saw the principle, on which both sides seemed to act, look with a different face, from what was ever made use of before. All the former treaties looked like Politic Shams, mere Amusements and frauds to draw in and deceive the people : while Commissioners met, little qualified and less inclined to the General Good of the whole.
But now I thought I foresaw the success of the Treaty in the temper, sincerity, and inclinations of the Treaters on both sides. They came together furnished for the work, convinced fully of the advantages on both sides of it, and blessed with sincere intentions to bring it to pass.
When I saw this, I thought it my duty to do my part without doors. And I know no part I could act, in my sphere, so natural, so useful, and so proper to the work, as to attempt to remove the National Prejudices, which both peoples, by the casualty of time, and the errors, industry, and malice of Parties, had too eagerly taken up, and were too tenacious of, one against another.
To this purpose, I wrote two Essays against national prejudices in England (An Essay at removing National Prejudices against a Union with Scotland. Part I. published on 4th May, and Part II. on 28th May, 1706), while the Treaty was in agitation there: and four more in Scotland, while it was debating in Scotland by the Parliament there : the contents of all which are repeated in this paper.
Nor did I think my time or labour ill bestowed to take a long, tedious, and hazardous journey thither; or to expose 640 DEFOE FOR 16 MONTHS IN SCOTLAND. [P. Defoe
myself to a thousand insults, scoffs, rabbles, and tumults; to all manner of despiteful and injurious treatment; if possible, to bring the people there to their senses, and free them from the unreasonable prejudices they had entertained against the prosperity of their country.
And having seen the Treaty happily ratified there, with some few amendments, which I hope are not considerable ; I thought this a proper period to close this Volume, which had already run beyond its usual bounds: and the next Volume will begin at the Parliament of England entering upon the Treaty; where I hope, it shall meet with better treatment than it has met with in Scotland, and a better reception with the people.
If it shall be my lot to live to see this Treaty finished, I think to venture one Essay at the General and Reciprocal Duties of the two Nations, one to another. In which, I shall endeavour to move England, to engage Scotland with all the acts of kindness and all the advantages which can be desired in reason, in order to plant and cultivate the new relation of the two kingdoms: and on the other hand, to move Scotland to entertain no jealousies, nor be anxious about anything, without great reason and good ground, as the only way to bring about the general peace of both Kingdoms, and settle the doubtful minds of the people on both sides.
This I hope I shall pursue with an equality of arguments on both sides, without partiality or affection to one more than another and in that, shew that the original of my concerning myself in this matter, was merely to be serviceable, if possibie, to both Kingdoms, and to the united body in general.
I doubt not, however, but I shall give offence in this too! For there are a people in the world who are not to be pleased with anything ! But I shall content myself, in pursuing what is the true end of Union, the flourishing of Peace, and the equalities on every hand, in matters of Advantage, Liberty, Religion, and Trade.
I am very sensible all coalitions without this, will render the Union still imperfect and ineffectual. The Union will never have its full perfection of extent, nor will either nation reap the benefit of it, till it becomes a Union of Affection and a Union of Interest.
Defoc:] PREFACE TO Fourth VOLUME OF THE Review. 641
This is my business. Let the enemies of GOD and the Nation's Peace, be as angry as they please, this is what I shall pursue to the uttermost! This Volume ends with it! the next will begin with it! and those that cry, “It is too long, and it is nothing but what has been heard before !” must bear with the prolixity of the Author, till they please to shorten the occasion.
Whenever they please to lay aside their spirit of division, anger, malice, wrath, strife, &c.; when they leave off raising unnecessary heats about scruples and trifles, merely to divide, not to inform; when National Prejudices on either side cease, and I can see the least prospect of a Calm among the men of cavil and continual objection : I shall be the first that shall cease calling upon them to Peace. But till then, the tautology is in the crime, not in the Reprover: and I shall not fail to alarm them on all occasions.
Preface to the Fourth
Volume of the Review
(1708.) Have been so loth to interrupt the discourse of Public Things, that I have run this Volume to an unusual length: but there is a necessity of ending it here.
I shall make no scruple to tell you, I think this Volume the best qualified to inform the readers of the Affair on the north side of
Britain ; of anything at least that I have written. I was not unsensible, when I entered on the particulars of the Union, that it would cloy the wandering humour of this Age; who hate to dwell upon a thing, though of never so great moment: nay, so eager are they to see novelty, that when they are best pleased with a subject in its beginning, yet they will never have patience to hear it out.
However, I was content to hear the readers of this paper cry, “It was dull!"; see them throw it by, without reading; and hear them say, “He preaches so long on the Union, because he has nothing else to say." And, in short, all ENG. GAR. VII.
642 DEFOE'S ANTICIPATIONS OF SIEGE OF Toulon. (Defoe.
manner of contempt has been thrown upon it, not because the Affair of the Union was not worth recording; nor was it, in itself, useless : but Union ! Union ! nothing but Union ! for four months together, glutted their fancy, and palled the modishness of the Town's humour. And so the poor Review lost its faculty of pleasing you.
And now I am to tell you, that I value this Volume for that very thing, for which it lost so much of the common opinion. Nor is this value I put upon it, merely my own.
I have the approbation of that valuable Few, whose judgement I have reason to esteem, and with which I am abundantly contented.
The former Volumes pleased the Readers of the Day better than this; and this will please the Readers of Futurity better than they: and thus what I lost in the Shire, I shall find in the Hundred; and I am very well contented.
I am not going about to panegyric upon my own Work in this : but to answer some of the innumerable cavils, which generally attack me in every thing I do. And this is one.
“What does this fellow pretend to!" says a Warm Gentleman, with a band on, at a public coffee-house not far from Newgate street; "he has been in Scotland this twelvemonth, and he pretends to write a Paper in London! What can he say to anything, either in its time, or to any purpose ?"
Really, Gentlemen, I was under the inconvenience of distance of place; and suffered some reproach which could not be avoided : particularly when a Review was published making some conjectures about the Siege of Toulon; and, in spite of a person's care who pretended to revise it, that very Paper was printed the next post after the news arrived that the siege was raised. But though, by the negligence of the person I depended upon to repair that defect which my distance occasioned, I fell into that misfortune: yet, Gentlemen, the guesses at, and inferences from the affair of Toulon which I, too unhappily, appeared right in, might very well atone for that slip; and does do so, in the eyes of all friendly remarkers.
How I was treated in the affair of that siege; how insulted by Observators and Rehearsers, for my suggesting you would be balked in that design; how charged with directing the enemy, for telling you what they would do, though some of it was after it was done: I need not remind you of. I reflect on it with this satisfaction, that when the Town saw