The Life and Times of Daniel de Foe: With Remarks Digressive and Discursive

By William Chadwick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.

AT this time, De Foe was appointed by Harley, the secretary of state, to some important and secret mission on the continent of Europe; but whether in France or Spain, is uncertain ; but certainly in one of these countries; for the service was a dangerous one, requiring some considerable Downing-Street modesty of face in passport, and credential papers ; as bulwarks against prying country justices, and jack-in-office officials of the landing-stage. On this business there is a letter extant in Birch's Manuscripts (No. 4291) in the British Museum ; and this letter is addressed by De Foe to Harley, the minister; though De Foe's name is not appended to it, (F.) being the only signature. Harley, in this letter, is requested to address his answer to Mr. Christopher Hurt. The papers enclosed in the letter seut to Harley were expressly written for him, being observations on public opinion, on the affair of the Fleet ( 1705),— an unhappy subject ; and the intelligence sent to the minister on public opinion is much below the excitement on the subject. What —was it? He assures the minister that he has "no personal design" as to Sir George Rooke, the admiral : " I neither know him, nor am concerned with him, or with any that does know him, directly or indirectly; I have not the least disrespect for him, or any personal prejudice, on any account whatever. I hope you will please to give full credit to me in this, otherwise it would be very rude and presuming to offer you the paper." He is preparing with joy to execute the minister's commands on Thursday next, and furnishing " myself with horses, &c." Furnishing himself with horses, &c.: what does this mean? Scotland? A secret trip to Scotland, for Harley the tricky minister, and friend of the Queen ? Horses would not be required to ride to France.No ! nor yet to Spain. But for Scotland, if De Foe had to visit the Scottish lairds or chieftains

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The Life and Times of Daniel de Foe: With Remarks Digressive and Discursive
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Life and Times of Daniel De Foe: *
  • The Preface. *
  • Contents *
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 57
  • Chapter III *
  • Chapter IV *
  • Chapter V *
  • Chapter VI *
  • Chapter VII *
  • Chapter VIII *
  • Chapter IX *
  • Chapter X *
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