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Title: A Short Narrative of the Life and Actions of His Grace John, D. of Marlborogh

Author: Daniel Defoe

Editor: Paula R. Backscheider

Release date: September 22, 2011 [eBook #37505]

Language: English


E-text prepared by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Front cover

The Augustan Reprint Society





Life and Actions



D. of Marlborough


Introduction by
Paula R. Backscheider

University of California, Los Angeles 1974





Typography by Wm. M. Cheney


Opinion is a mighty matter in war, and I doubt but the French think it impossible to conquer an army that he leads, and our soldiers think the same; and how far even this step may encourage the French to play tricks with us, no man knows.

Swift's Journal to Stella, 1 January 1711

… the moment he leaves the service and loses the protection of the Court, such scenes will open as no victories can varnish over.

Bolingbroke's Letters and Correspondence,
23 January 1711

The career of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, reflects the political battles of nearly thirty years of English politics. In an age when duplicity, intrigue, personality, and an immediate history of violence characterized politics, John Churchill was a constant, steady military success even while his political and personal fortunes alternately plunged and soared. His military ability insured his importance to the Grand Alliance and his victories brought the reverence of the European powers opposing Louis XIV as well as that of his own people, but, at the same time, his successes also assured his involvement with the fortunes of nearly every major English political figure and movement in the years 1688 to 1712.

Marlborough's military career spanned two periods. Aware of the danger of the "exorbitant power of France" and the corresponding danger to the Protestant religion, disgusted with James's actions at the Gloucester shipwreck and in dealing with Scottish Protestants, Marlborough had joined the bloodless shift to William of Orange. For William, he led the English forces in Flanders in 1689 and in Ireland in 1690; in 1691 he was in charge of the British forces in Europe with the rank of lieutenant-general. In January, 1692, however, Marlborough was dismissed from all of his offices for a combination of reasons, each insufficient in itself but all too typical for him—open opposition to William's Dutch dominated army, rumors that he and Sarah, his ambitious and sometimes presumptuous wife, were plotting Anne's usurpation of the throne, and dissension aroused between Anne and her sister Queen Mary by the quixotic Sarah. When rumors of a Jacobite uprising began, Marlborough spent six weeks in the Tower.

Although Marlborough was restored to political favor in 1698 partly as a placatory gesture to Anne, it was 1701 before he resumed his military career, this time as William's Commander-in-Chief and Ambassador Extraordinary to the United Provinces. In this second phase of his military career, he won every battle, took every fort that he besieged, held the Grand Alliance together, broke the threatening supremacy of France, and established England as a major power. Yet, during these ten years, Queen Anne's ministry and Parliament underwent several major upheavals: the resulting shifts in policy and personalities alternately inconvenienced and vexed Marlborough. The year 1711 marked the culmination of warring factions and clandestine arrangement, and Daniel Defoe's A Short Narrative of the Life and Actions of his grace, John, Duke of Marlborough, published 20 February 1711, originated in this battle. (For discussion of authorship, please see Appendix.)

Much that happened in these years can be unraveled back to Harley, Earl of Oxford. His influences and circuitous dealing emerge wherever a close examination of politics is made.[1] Hiding his activities from even his closest associates, employing spies and journalists whose purposes seem contradictory, manipulating the House of Commons' radical October Club while preaching a "broad bottomed" moderate government, and buzzing in the Queen's ear in a variety of ways, Harley was ready for any exigency. England had wanted peace since 1709 when their insistence on "no peace without Spain" and on the XXXVII Article asking for guarantees of three Spanish towns had rallied the French behind the war;[2] Marlborough's pleas that peace be made and Spain be dealt with later were ignored. Although Parliament voted Malplaquet a triumph, Marlborough's power and prestige were systematically shorn away, and embarrassing decisions contrived to force his resignation were effected.[3] Should Marlborough resign, a scapegoat for defeat or an unfavorable peace would be assured. By 1710, foreign policy had changed—a growing interest in trade and colonization urged Parliament to end a costly and now unnecessary war and had united the Tories, Jacobites, the Church party, as well as such diverse men as the Dukes of Argyll, Somerset, Newcastle, and Shrewsbury, a Whig. With the election of the radical Tory majority (240 new members were seated) to the Commons in 1710 and the creation of twelve new peers,[4] Harley's job of using diverse elements to form a moderate government became more complex. He found it expedient to establish and maintain influence with groups ranging from the radical Tory October Club to Swift's country squire and clergy Examiner readers to moderate Whigs such as Shrewsbury. Moreover, Defoe had impressed upon him the importance of assuring the nation that moderate and sensible men were at the bottom of all of the political changes.[5] Harley, therefore, prepared for at least three apparently exclusive possibilities—prosecuting the war for several more years, negotiating a peace with the Allies, or making a separate peace with France without the Allies. To keep all these possibilities alive, Harley had to remain in harmony with Marlborough. The general's popularity with the soldiers and the European powers and France's awe of his military prowess necessitated the appearance that Marlborough's command was secure. While the Examiner, with its Tory audience and its emphasis on pressure for peace, was essential to Harley, so were Swift's and Defoe's appeals for moderation at a time when sympathy for Marlborough was rampant and the call "no peace without Spain" was still defended even by the October Club; for the same reasons he was glad to have Bolingbroke openly associated with the Examiner.

January of 1711 brought the decisive defeat at Brihuega which effectively took the issue of Spanish succession away; in the ensuing witch hunt, Almanza and the peace talks of 1709 were revived to distract the people. While these inquiries proceeded, England received word that France was ready to discuss terms. The delay between this (8 February) and France's formal proposal (2 May) was an anxious time for Harley and his schemers. Defoe was busy setting the stage for the outcome.

While Swift, the high Tory, could easily set about discrediting Marlborough, the hero and standard bearer, and, by so doing, weaken the Whig's position, Defoe's readers required different handling. His most effective writing at this time was in pamphlets which reached a wider audience and which were not bound by the consistency of the Review. Defoe and Swift, primed with the Minister's inside knowledge, set about to discredit the Whig ministry in basically the same way. In the 15 February Examiner, Swift wrote,

No Body, that I know of, did ever dispute the Duke of Marlborough's Courage, Conduct, or Success; they have been always unquestionable and will continue to be so, in spight of the Malice of his Enemies, or which is yet more, the Weakness of his Advocates. The Nation only wished to see him taken out of ill Hands, and put into better. But, what is all this to the Conduct of the late Ministry, the shameful Mismanagements in Spain, or the wrong Steps in the Treaty of Peace.... [6]

Defoe remarks, "our General wants neither Conduct or Courage" and describes his greatest successes as "daughters to preserve his Memory" while dissociating him somewhat from the Jacobites, Whigs, and "business of [making] peace and war." When the Review finally discusses Marlborough's fall, Defoe suggests that the "greatest Guilt ... is the Error in Policy, and Prudence among his Friends."[7] Both writers presented the Duke as a means to an end and discredited him on personal grounds (avarice, ambition) thereby protecting the military hero and the newborn glory of England fathered by his victories.[8] Faced with Dissenters and moderate Whig readers, Defoe's Review had to seem to oppose Swift's Examiner with its sneers at trade; not only must it be consistent but it was obliged to shift its readers' attention more slowly to the earlier failures of the Whig ministry and the rich commercial advantages gained in the separate peace.

The Life of Marlborough is part of a stream of pamphlets which Defoe wrote supporting the Harley administration; A Supplement to the Faults on Both Sides, a discussion of the Sacheverell case by two "displac'd officers of state," Rogues on Both Sides, a study in contrasts between old and new Whigs, and old, high flyer, and new Tories, and A Seasonable Caution to the General Assembly were published immediately before and after. That same year, his pamphlets discuss the October Club, the Spanish succession, "Mr. Harley," and the state of religion. By summer when the peace was nearly assured though still secret, Defoe was writing Reasons for a Peace; Or, the War at an End.

Taken in chronological order, Defoe's 1711 pamphlets indicate two emerging directions: first, the reasons for ending the war become more positive and entirely unconcerned with the General, and, second, Defoe's comments about the Duke become less wholeheartedly admiring, especially in No Queen; Or, No General. Rogues on Both Sides is witty praise for moderate men who act "according to English principles of Law and Liberty regardless of People and Party" rather than believing any demagogue who "cries it rains butter'd Turnips." After this, the pamphlets become more informative and solemn—Defoe demonstrates Whigs and Tories want the same things and that the country bleeds to death. Armageddon; or the Necessity of Carrying on the War (30 October 1711), Reasons Why This Nation Ought to put a speedy End to this Expensive War (6 October), and Reasons for a Peace: or, the War at an End, for example, catalog the economic ailments—taxes, pirates, hard to replace sailors and soldiers killed, but far worse, a decline in trade resulting in closed shops and declining manufacturing increasing unemployment—"the whole Kingdom sold to Usury" and "Consumption of the Growth of the Country." As the year passed, Defoe mentioned Marlborough less and less, but the General's possible mistakes were progressively forced into balance with his victories. While seeming to be moderate, Defoe both tempers his readers' opinions of the Duke and turns their attention to other issues.

The techniques and movement in No Queen: Or, No General (10 January 1712) parallel the techniques and movement in the 1711 pamphlets. In this 1712 pamphlet, Defoe's double-edged balance sheet is most obvious; in the first six pages he lists the charges against the General which he will not discuss—this reminds his readers of every possible failing and, because of the language ("I'le forbear to lessen his Glorious Character by Reckoning the Number of the Slain, or counting the Cost of the Towns"), the significance of each "ignored" charge is increased. Defoe recounts the economic issues at stake and insists that when Marlborough's "blinded party" made him its representative, regardless of his intentions, he became a formidable threat to the Queen and had to be removed. The pamphlet gradually turns to the destructiveness of party factions and by the patriotic ending ("Alas, what a Condition were Britain in if her Fate depended upon the Life, or Gallantry, or Merit, of one Man"), Marlborough is no longer an issue.

In the Life, Defoe defends the general from the charge of avarice, the most plausible charge that the journalists were propagating. Marlborough's courage and skill had also been called into question in such papers as The Post Boy, and a spurious debate raged which could only injure Marlborough over the gratitude of the nation. Defoe alludes to pamphlets which impugn great men and represent them as "unworthy of the Favour of the Prince" slanting the charge that Marlborough had been rewarded perhaps too bountifully in order to imply that such writers were malicious, uninformed, and ungrateful. Furthermore, Defoe says, Marlborough deserved his reward, having bought it at a dear rate, and it was no more than what "in all Times belong'd to Generals." Indeed, Marlborough's successor, the Duke of Ormond, received the same bread perquisite and percentage of foreign pay, but Defoe chooses to "defend" Marlborough not with comparable facts which would destroy the credibility of the attacking group, but rather with passing references to the two other generals with whom he had to divide the money and with the profits of sea captains and petty clerks in yards and stores! With descriptions of the fitting appearance for generals and Marlborough's sobriety in the field, Defoe tips the scales in Marlborough's favor. That he ends the section with

Indeed Generals, tho' the most accomplish'd Heroes, are but Men, they are not Infallible, but may be mistaken as well as other Mortals, they are subject to Faults and Infirmities as well as their Fellow-Creatures; but then their great Services for the good of their Country ought to be cast into the Ballance, against their humane Mistakes; and not only Charity, but Self-consideration should give them very good Quarter, unless their Faults are prov'd to be Wilful and Contumacious.(38)

is a paradigm of his technique. Coming immediately after this defense, the argument that his victories should be "cast in the Ballance" is somewhat degrading and implies that Marlborough may have been mistaken in what he did and even leaves the question open with the phrase "unless their Faults are prov'd Wilful and Contumacious."[9] The following paragraph, however, opens the subject of Marlborough's invincibility. Under the guise of wondering what an ungrateful nation would do should he lose a battle, Defoe brings Marlborough's perfect record, his piety, and the esteem France and his soldiers had for him to our attention. The paragraph before, then, may be taken to introduce Defoe's concern—even Marlborough could be mistaken in battle and lose, and what would such a nation do then? The paragraph on the whole reflects on the nation and is an eloquent defense of the Duke—he is human, human beings make mistakes and his great good should excuse him even more than an ordinary man's mistakes should be forgiven.

Harley knew that Marlborough was essential until peace negotiations were secured. Marlborough had distrusted Harley throughout 1710, but he also knew that Harley's stakes in a moderate government were great. In 1711, Rochester and the October Club began to challenge Harley, and their demands alarmed even Queen Anne. The Queen, Bolingbroke, and Harley all wrote Marlborough conciliatory letters. Marlborough answered in kind and his letter after Harley was stabbed expresses deep concern. Harley became increasingly convinced that only peace would preserve his power, and Marlborough's power and reputation were essential for an acceptable peace. As late as July, Harley's letters to Marlborough are respectful and deceitfully warm:

My lord; I received from the hands of lord Mar, just as I came from Windsor, the honour of your grace's letter, and I am not willing to let a post pass, without making your grace my acknowledgments. It is most certain, that you can best judge what is fit to be proposed upon the subject you are pleased to mention....

I hope it will be needless to renew the assurances to your grace, that I will not omit any thing in my power, which may testify my zeal for the public, and my particular honour and esteem for your grace; and I doubt not, but when the lord you mention comes, I shall satisfy him of the sincerity of my intentions towards your grace.[10]

Harley's perfidy allowed him to assure Marlborough he would "never do any thing which shall forfeit your good opinion" while pretending to plan to restore Marlborough to the Queen's confidence. Further, when Marlborough appealed to him to silence the libellous attacks by journalists, Harley replied, "I do assure your grace I neither know nor desire to know any of the authors; and as I heartily wish this barbarous war was at an end, I shall be very ready to take my part in suppressing them."[11] Details about the financing of Woodstock and mutual friends crop up in the letters. So successful is Harley's deception that when Sir Solomon Medina accuses Marlborough of graft, Marlborough writes Harley:

Upon my arrival here, I had notice that my name was brought before the commissioners of accounts, possibly without any design to do me a prejudice. However, to prevent any ill impression it might make, I have writ a letter to those gentlemen … and when you have taken the pains to read the inclosed copy, pray be so kind as to employ your good offices, so as that it may be known I have the advantage of your friendship. No one knows better than your lordship the great use and expence of intelligence, and no one can better explain it; and 'tis for that reason I take the liberty to add a farther request, that you would be so kind to lay the whole, on some fitting opportunity, before the queen, being very well persuaded her majesty, who has so far approved, and so well rewarded my services would not be willing they should now be reflected on.[12]

Defoe points out that criticism of the Duke "may prove Dangerous and Fatal" and the joy in the French court at each step in Marlborough's fall reinforces Defoe's and Harley's opinion[13] Defoe recounts Marlborough's greatest military victories beginning as far back as his campaign in Brabant (reminding his readers of possible wealth gained through a shipwreck and of the betrayal of Dunkirk as he goes along), includes descriptions of his exemplary behavior including regular prayers for the Camp, and praises Marlborough as a "finish'd Hero." The conclusion to the pamphlet warns the nation again of Marlborough's importance; his battles are bringing the enemy to "reason," procuring "an honorable and lasting peace." References to the detrimental effect of discrediting the general are found intermittently throughout the pamphlet in allusion to Hannibal.

Defoe, then, served Harley's purposes well. He defended Marlborough and shored up his prestige in a time when it was important for the French to think that Marlborough could prosecute the war freely. As a known employee of Harley's, Defoe furthered Marlborough's impression that Harley could be depended upon.[14] Finally, he began to prepare the moderate Whigs for peace by presenting the economic considerations and disassociating Marlborough from the Queen's and the ministry's "business of peace."

The possibility that Defoe acted independently in this writing cannot be discounted.[15] Defoe had praised Marlborough since the beginning of his career and the extent to which he and Godolphin adopted William's policies added to Defoe's admiration; admiration is clear in this pamphlet. Defoe had worked for Godolphin and Sunderland, and may have used "by an Old Officer in the Army" as a disguise from Harley or even as a means of publishing independently. That Defoe resented attacks on his hero can hardly be doubted—the Review and his pamphlets are a catalog of the general's triumphs, and no where does he attack unequivocably; even in No Queen he puts chief blame on rumors and on Marlborough's party. Harley's failure to make permanent provisions for Defoe may suggest some dissatisfaction, but even if the possibility that the Life was not expressly ordered by Harley is considered, it is noteworthy that nothing in it is offensive to Harley, and, more important, remarkable that it serves Harley's needs and ends at the time so well.

Definitely Defoe's, however, are veiled but telling attacks on Swift and his type. Although the purpose of the Examiner was to "furnish Mankind, with a Weekly Antidote to that Weekly Poison,"[16] Defoe parodied this by saying his pamphlet was to "undeceive the People." The "base Pamphleteers" are labeled uninformed and ungrateful; they have no way of making right judgments in the matter of perquisites and soldier's pay; they go out to see a battlefield as they might a well laid-out garden, and, of course, their "Mouths go off smartly with a Whiff of Tobacco" (an obvious ridiculing contrast to the cannon fire of the real fighters).

Furthermore, compared to attacks on Marlborough in libels such as The Duke of M***'s Confessions to a Jacobite Priest, The Land-Leviathan: or, the Modern Hydra, and The Perquisite Monger, Defoe's pamphlet was exemplary in its moderation. Even Swift's attacks are moderate beside the majority of these 1711-12 pamphlets; not even he conjured up memories of regicide and rebellion as did the more numerous and libellous pamphleteers. For example, The Mobb's Address to my Lord M*** (1710) linked Marlborough to Sacheverell and assured the Duke his "most dutiful Mobb, will use our utmost Care and Diligence to raise all riotous and tumultous Assemblys, and with undaunted Vigour … oppose … all who will keep up the Authority of the Crown." Oliver's Pocket Looking Glass (1711) while more erudite was scarcely less inflammatory—shades of Cromwell were called up, a "Colossus" with an "Army compos'd of almost all nations" faced the "body politic."

The Life exemplifies many of Defoe's life long interests and opinions and points to the fiction he was to write. Virtues espoused throughout his career are praised here. Ingratitude was a deplorable but all too common failing of mankind—that Marlborough should be "undervalued and slighted" was "no new Thing, all the Histories of the World are full of Examples to this purpose" and his greatness provides but a mark at which the envious may shoot. In Atalantis Major Defoe elaborates on the causes of the nation's ingratitude: the debt was too great for payment and resentment was the natural result. A second interest was the military hero; much of Defoe's fiction—Memoirs of a Cavalier, Captain Singleton, for instance—involved military men, and Marlborough along with King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, another soldier who scorned the conventional seventeenth century chess game tactics, furnished a model. The "finish'd Hero" described includes all of the virtues of Defoe's fictional leaders from Robinson Crusoe to John in Journal of the Plague Year to the Cavalier—"Prudent, and Vigilant, and Temperate, Alert, and industrious, with an humble Submission to the Will of the Almighty" (26), "Temperate, Sober, Careful, Couragious, Politick, Skilful, so he is Courteous, Mild, Affable, Humble, and Condescending to People of the meanest Condition" (45). The Duke's virtues as well as Gustavus's enable the reader of Memoirs of a Cavalier and The Memoirs of Captain George Carlton to judge the commanders as Defoe would have. Above all, the "assured Skill" and "daring Courage" appealed to Defoe—Robinson Crusoe's campaigns against the cannibals and in the Far East repeat the daring, risk-all quality of Ramilles. Defoe's enjoyment of marching vicariously over great battles has led biographers such as J. R. Moore to say that it was unfortunate his military genius was never used,[17] and is obvious in almost all of his fiction. So skillful are his descriptions that J. H. Burton pauses to note "the character and claims of a book (Memoirs of Capt. George Carlton, 1728) that has afforded him valuable instruction on the general character of the war, along with special instructions in its leading events."[18]

Defoe's Life was his first biography; other "memoirs" of the Duke of Melfort (1714), Daniel Williams (1718), and Major Ramkins (1719) suggest the progression to The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719) and two other lives in that same year. Defoe's sometimes troublesome skill with narrative voices is, in the Life, a shadow of the competence displayed in Moll Flanders. Although the "old Officer's" voice is sustained and there are excellent touches, the distinctiveness and absorbing intimacy are only hinted at. The polemist appeals too apparently to his readers while the opening pages approach a declamation. The persona protests that he doesn't "pretend in this Narrative to Inform the great People at Court, concerning this thing," and that he writes only for the common people. Defoe does limit carefully his material to events which were common knowledge or would have been open to an old soldier—while he describes the key maneuver of Ramilles, he certainly lacks a complete overview. Many of the virtues praised would appeal most strongly to men who might have been common foot concerned with regular bread, a well-run camp, and a conscientious strategist, or to simple, pious women glad to hear that their general prayed and provided Sunday sermons. Allusions to Satan, "the cunning engineer," Solomon, and Moses were common enough, while those to Hannibal and Raleigh had been exploited in Defoe's other writing. Perhaps the most graphic section in this voice is the description of the common soldier's misery in a rainy season march and siege. A few passages have the confidential, gossipy tone of ordinary people around a tavern table—Sarah was admired abroad, but in her own country it was said she was "guilty of more Folly than a Retainer to the College in Moore-Fields,"[19] an experienced old general knows more coffeehouse quarterbacks, and the soldier naively speculates with relish how "my Lord" narrowly escaped being "torn in Pieces" for the rumor that he spoke words which would be "brutal from the mouth of a Porter." Naive arguments (no man would continue in so hard an undertaking from selfish motives), sincere patriotism (defense of his King and Queen and praise for a nation "with a generous Race of Warlike People" ready to risk their lives), and honest indignation at "barbarous Lies" authenticate the narrator.

Defoe's writing—fiction and non-fiction—is all of a piece. The same subjects and opinions reoccur and the techniques and style are nearly indistinguishable. Expository material alternates with narrative examples (which may in turn be followed by a paragraph or two drawing a conclusion or a "moral") in all of his writing. The primary difference is in the length of the narrative examples—in the fiction they are naturally much longer. Over the years, they become increasingly dramatic as may be seen in books such as The Fortunate Mistress and Conjugal Lewdness. A Short Narrative conforms to this structural pattern. Sentences which direct the reader's attention to this structure are common. For instance, Defoe defends Marlborough's courage with descriptions of the battle of Brabant, Ramilles, references to Hannibal, and concludes, "And thus then you see, that our General wants neither Conduct or Courage." Defoe's skill with these short, dramatic, illustrative examples developed with the years. Defoe was always concerned with presenting a case clearly and persuasively. Clearly marked structure and "reasonable" conclusions alternate with anecdotes and reminiscences intended to hold the reader's interest and dramatize Defoe's points.[20]

Defoe's Life of Marlborough serves as a kind of barometer for the age and for Defoe. A reliable if sketchy list of the Duke's military successes and the major charges raised against him at various times during his life may be matched to the struggles in the English government and on the continent. The time had nearly come for the Jacobites, whom Marlborough had offended by deserting James, and the Tories, who had long thought him a presumptuous general and a former Tory (or a lukewarm Tory as Marlborough might have thought himself) who had perverted a Tory Queen, brought the Bill of Occasional Conformity to defeat, and driven Tories out of office, to collect the debt that they felt Marlborough owed them. The biography, written in the interim between two foreign policies when so many momentous plans were proceeding backstage, mirrors the age. It is also a barometer by which Defoe's development can be measured; his journalistic involvement and employment, his non-fiction techniques as well as his progress toward the fiction are implied.

Rollins College
Winter Park, Florida


  1. Harley as a "trickster is a doctrine as deeply rooted in historical opinion as the military skill of Marlborough and the oratorical accomplishments of Bolingbroke." John Hill Burton, A History of the Reign of Queen Anne (New York: Scribner & Welford, 1880), iii, p. 71. See also Elizabeth Hamilton, The Backstairs Dragon: A Life of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1969).

  2. Winston S. Churchill, Marlborough; His Life and Times (New York: Scribner's, 1938), vi, pp. 85-6.

  3. Marlborough was systematically deprived of the men upon whom he relied most. The ministry took over Army promotions and dismissed existing officers under the guise of protecting the Queen. Churchill, vi, pp. 334-5.

  4. Burton, iii, pp. 92-3.

  5. Defoe to Harley, July 28, 1710. George Healey, ed., The Letters of Daniel Defoe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955).

  6. Examiner, February 15, 1711. Herbert Davis, ed., The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1940), p. 87.

  7. Defoe's Review, January 22, 1712.

  8. Cf. discussions of this in John Ross, Swift and Defoe: A Study in Relationship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1941); Richard I. Cook, Jonathan Swift as A Tory Pamphleteer (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967), and Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), ii, pp. 450ff. and 526ff.

  9. This is similar to an argument Defoe uses to distinguish between types of debtors in the Review (iii, 83-4 and 397-400). Whether or not the crime was "Wilful" was very important to Defoe; perhaps his revised opinion of Marlborough as most obvious in his tribute to him at his death is the result of his change of opinion about Marlborough's motives and removing him from the list of heroes who possessed the "courage of honor" as described in An Apology for the Army.

10. William Coxe, Memoirs of John, Duke of Marlborough with his Original Correspondence (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1820), vi, p. 48.

11. Coxe, vi, p. 123.

12. Coxe, vi, 126.

13. The advantage France gained from Marlborough's fall and their complete awareness of it is discussed in Churchill, vi, pp. 462-69.

14. Coxe, vi, p. 126; Hamilton, p. 172, and The Letters and Dispatches of John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (London: John Murray, 1845), v.

15. J. R. Moore, Daniel Defoe: Citizen of the Modern World (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1958), pp. 255-56; Defoe's An Appeal to Honor and Justice; and Chalmers says Defoe wrote what "either gratified his prejudices or supplied his needs."

16. Davis, "A Letter to the Examiner," p. 221.

17. Moore, pp. 58-61.

18. Burton, ii, p. 171.

19. Bedlam and Grub Street as the colleges in the vicinity of Moorefields were standard jokes. Moorfields was also associated with cheap lodging, prostitution, theft, and the Pesthouse Burying Ground, altogether an unhealthy environment.

20. Defoe discusses this in Robinson Crusoe, Serious Reflections, and a Collection of Miscellaney Letters and several other places. He says, for example:

The custom of the ancients in writing fables is my very laudable pattern for this; and my firm resolution in all I write to exalt virtue, expose vice, promote truth, and help men to serious reflection, is my first moving cause and last directed end.

(Preface to the Review)

Things seem to appear more lively to the Understanding, and to make a stronger Impression upon the Mind when they are insinuated under the cover of some Symbol or Allegory, especially where the moral is good, and the Application obvious and easy.

(Collection of Miscellaney Letters, iv, 210)

21. For this and many other examples of Defoe's distinguishing qualities in this appendix, I am deeply indebted to the late Professor John Robert Moore.


The facsimile of Defoe's A Short Narrative of … Marlborough (1711) is reproduced from a copy (Shelf Mark: *PR3404/S5451) in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. The total type-page (p. 7) measures 153 x 79 mm.




Life and Actions



D. of Marlborough,


Beginning of the REVOLUTION,

to this present Time.


Remarks on his Conduct.

By an Old Officer in the Army.

Printed for JOHN BAKER, at the Black-Boy in
Pater-noster-Row, 1711.

Price Six-Pence.

A short




Of his GRACE

John, Duke of Marlborough.

Seeing the Press is open, and every body dares Write and Publish what he pleases, and Persons of the highest Honour and Virtue, to the great Shame and Scandal of our Country, are expos'd to the World, in base Pamphlets; and according to the Malice or Misunderstanding of the Authors, are represented to the World unworthy of the Favour of the Prince, as well as Obnoxious to the Common-Wealth, in which they live: It becomes every honest Man, who knows more of the Matter, to set things in a true Light, to undeceive the People, as much as he is able, that they may be no longer impos'd on by such false Reports, which in the end may prove Dangerous and Fatal.

There is nothing new, saith Solomon, under the Sun; the same Causes will always produce the same Effects; and while Mankind bear about them, the various Passions of Love and Joy, Hatred and Grief, the cunning Engineer, that stands behind the Curtain, will influence and work these Passions according to his Malice, to the destruction of Persons of highest Worth.

I shall therefore give a short Narrative of the Actions of the most Illustrious John Duke of Marlborough, with some Reflections on them, that People may not wonder how it comes to pass, that such a Great Captain, equal no doubt to any in all Ages, considering the Powers whom he has Oppos'd, after all his Victories, should be represented in the publick Writings of the Town, as over-Honoured and over-Paid for all his past Services, and neglected and almost forgotten in the midst of all his Triumphs, and his Name almost lost from the Mouths of those People, who for several Years last past, and not many Months since, have been fill'd with his Praises.

The first time that I had the Honour of seeing John, Earl of Marlborough, (for so I shall call him till he was created a Duke) was at a place call'd Judoigne in Brabant, where our Army was Encamp'd, I think about three Months after the late King was Crown'd. He was sent over the King's Lieutenant, with the British Forces under his Command, which could then be spared for that Service. Our united Forces were Commanded in general, by the Old Prince Waldeck.

After several Marches, we came to the Confines of Haynault, within a League of a small Town call'd Walcourt, and on St. Lewis's Day, a Saint suppos'd to be prosperous to the French Nation, their Army, Commanded by Mareschal d'Humiers, very betimes in the Morning, Marched to Attack us.

An English Colonel guarded a Pass towards the aforesaid little Town, to which the Enemy bent their Course; and being in Distress, was reliev'd by my Lord in Person, who ordred his Retreat to such an Advantage, that he flank'd the Enemy with perpetual Fire; and this was the first Cause that cool'd them in their Design of pushing our Army.

At his return, the Prince receiv'd him with a great deal of Satisfaction, and assured him that he would let the King know that he saw into the Art of a General more in one Day, than others do in a great many Years.

At the end of this Campaign, my Lord Marlborough was ordered, with half of the Forces under his Command, to Embark for Ireland; where I come to relate what he performed there: As soon as he arrived in the Harbour of Kingsale, having Landed his Forces, without the least loss of Time, Marched directly to the Fort or Citadel of that Place, which is a strong Fortification, and at that time, well provided with a good Garrison, and all things necessary for a strong Defence.

My Lord did not stand to use Forms with them, which might look like a Siege; but with a conquering Resolution, and perpetual Volleys, so terrified them, that they soon Surrendred.

And now at this Place it was where the Duke's Actions began to be Envied, and evil Reports touching his good Name and Reputation were industriously spread abroad; and I am apt to believe, such back Friends as these will hardly leave him so long as he remains in the World.

There was a Ship at that time in the said Harbour, which 'twas reported had some Money on Board for paying of the Forces in these Parts; which Ship, by some untimely Accident, was blown up and lost; and presently after it was given out by some ill People there present with my Lord, and by them sent into England to their Party, that he had gotten the Money beforehand to himself, and that the Ship was destroyed by his Contrivance; that he had vast Sums of Money in Holland, and at Venice; nay, some went farther and affirmed, that he had settled a good Fund, upon Occasion, at Constantinople: And I am sure some such like Reports and palpable Falsities are continued on him to this very Day.

And now I suppose it could not be in this Year that the strong City of Dunkirk was to be betrayed by the Governour of it, and Surrendred to some of the King's Forces.

In the next Campaign in Flanders, the Old Waldeck was severely beaten by Duke Luxembourg, at the Battle of Flerus: We were only Six Battalions of British left in Ghent, under the Command of the then Brigadier Talmach: We had Orders to march, and to join the grand Army at least a Fortnight before the Fight happened; but as we were about to march out of the City, the City Gates were shut against us by the People of that Place, because we had no Money to pay our Quarters.

Mr. Sizar, whom my Lord brought over with him the Year before, was our Pay-Master-General, and at this time was gone down into Holland to get some Money upon Credit, till our Supply was returned from England; and then I remember there was a barbarous Lie spread up and down among us, that our Money was kept in the Hands of Merchants by the contrivance of my Lord and Mr. Sizar, that they might reap such a particular Benefit, which could not be much, for the use of it.

Waldeck being beaten, the Elector of Brandenbourg, for supporting of him, was oblig'd by long Marches, to come and join us; after which, nothing more of Consequence happened this Year. And now I suppose it could not be in this Year that Dunkirk was to be given up to some party of the King's Forces; both his Majesty and my Lord Marlborough being absent from us, and we had no Marches towards that part of the Country, and good Reason for it, for we could not if we would.

I come now to our third Campaign, which was made in Flanders; and if ever Dunkirk was to be betrayed in some secret manner to the late King; and if ever the Secret thereof was reveal'd by his Majesty to the Earl of Marlborough; and if my Lord did reveal the same weighty Secret to his Wife; and if by her it was discovered to her Sister at St. Germans, and by her to the French King, it must be placed in this Year, or else it must be extra anni solisque Vias, the Lord knows when and where.

I am sure that the pretended Discovery of this same Secret hath lain hard on my Lord's Name for a great many Years; and upon most Discourses of the Affairs in Flanders, that business of Dunkirk is trump'd up against my Lord to this very Day.

For as soon as this Story was sent abroad, it flew like Lightening, and like the sham tragical Report which was put upon the Irish at the Revolution, it was scattered over all the Kingdom in an instant. The loss of Dunkirk is not to be forgotten, and 'tis fresh in the Minds of the common People, both in Town and Country; and not only the Farmers over a Pot of Ale at Market, will shake their Heads at Malbur, (for so they call him) for losing of Dunkirk; but also Gentlemen of good Rank and Condition believe it to be true, and talk of it with a great deal of Regret to this very time. I don't pretend in this Narrative to Inform the great People at Court, concerning this thing; without doubt they very well know there was no great matter in this mighty Secret; but most of it a design to Disgrace my Lord Marlborough, that he might the more easily be turn'd out of his Places at Court and in the Army: I write this to the common People only; to vindicate the Innocent, and to undeceive a good part of the Nation, who have not had an Opportunity to be better Informed.

This Summer then being our Third Campaign, the King came to the Army, and with Him my Lord Marlborough, and several other Persons of Quality: Among the rest was Count Solmes, a nigh Relation to his Majesty, and Colonel of the great Regiment of Dutch Blue Guards; and then it was after two or three Marches that my Lord was observ'd to be somewhat neglected, and his Interest in the Army to decay and cool; and upon a certain Morning, as we were in full March, a Man might judge by what then happened that it was so: For it seems the Count had ordered his Baggage and Sumpters to take Place of my Lord's, and to cut them out of the Line; of which Affront my Lord being inform'd by his Servants, soon found him out, and having caus'd his Baggage to enter the Post which was his due, with his Cane lifted up, and some hard Words in French, 'twas thought by a great many that it would end in a single Combat; but the Count thought fit to shear off, and we heard no more of it.

All this Summer was spent in a great many Marches after the French, to bring them to a Battle, but they Industriously and Artfully declin'd it. The Summer being spent, the King committed the Army again to Prince Waldeck, and went in haste to the Hague. Our Regiment was sent to Garrison at Mechlen, where came the Dutch Foot Guards to Winter also. Count Solmes, as he designed for Holland, took this City in his way, and there he assured a certain English Colonel, who not long before had been check'd by my Lord, about some Disorders in his Regiment, that the Earl of Marlborough had made his Peace with France, and in a short time he would hear, that he would be call'd to an Account for it.

When I went to England that same Winter, my Lord's Appartments were at the Cock-pit. 'Twas fine to see them full of Gentlemen and Officers of all Ranks, as they are now to be seen every Day at his Levee at St. James's; but no sooner had my Lord Sidney brought him word from the King, that His Majesty had no farther Service for him in the Court, or in the Army, but my Lord was forsaken by all his Shadows, and his House left in a profound Silence.

Now a Person of my Lord's high Posts, especially having been so eminently instrumental in the Revolution, could not be well laid aside from all his Employments, without some Reasons were given to the People for it; and in a short time the pretended Reasons were produced, and they prevailed mightily.

The first was, That at the King's Levee at the putting on of the Shirt, my Lord should speak scornfully of the Person of the King, who at the same time having made a great Spitting (for his Majesty was a long time troubled with a Consumptive Cough) that my Lord should say to some Gentlemen nigh him, that he wish'd it might be his last.

As soon as this gross Affront was made known to the King, by a certain Party, who can calumniate stoutly, and blast as well as blacken, it was in a Moment all over the Court and Town; and 'tis a wonder my Lord was not torn in Pieces.

But now to the Truth of this Matter. My Lord has been always esteem'd a nice Courtier, well guarded in his Words, and one of the most Mannerly best-bred Men of the Nation; and no Man of Sense can believe that a Man of his Character could be so Indiscreet, as to drop such Words, which would be Barbarous and Brutal from the Mouth of a Porter, much more from the Lips of a Noble-Man and a General.

The other Reason was, That through his or his Lady's Treachery or Indiscretion, the contrivance about Dunkirk was discovered to the French, or else 'tis very probable it would have been in our Possession. And now to clear this Aspersion also.

Dunkirk is suppos'd to be one of the strongest Fortresses of Europe, either by Sea or Land, the French King, by vast Labour, Art and Cost, having made it to be so, and accordingly regards it with a careful Eye, always keeping in it a good Garrison, with all manner of Plenty for the Defence of it. The next Garrisons of ours towards that Place, were Bruges, Ostend, and Newport, the nighest is Newport, a small Fortress on the Sea, and about twenty Miles from Dunkirk; we had no Marches towards any of these Places all this Campaign, neither was it known that any Detachment was sent that way, either in Summer or Winter: Scarce less than a body of Three Thousand Men would suffice to secure that City if it were to be betrayed to them; now how such a Party could march over so many Canals, Morasses, and Trenches in that low Country, some part of the Enemy's, & most part of it their Friends, unobserved, and not look'd after, especially a Royal Army of theirs being at Hand, is not easie to be conceived by any Person who understands the Business of a Soldier. 'Tis a great Hazzard, a nice Difficulty for a French Governour to betray a strong City; unless all his Officers be in the Secret, and then 'tis wonderful, if by some one or other it is not revealed, or else he has with him in the Place several good Officers, who understand the Duty as well as himself, and very probable that one or more of them may have private Instructions to have an Eye upon him, and to keep him in View. Every one that has a Command, knows his Alarm-Post, and every hour, Night and Day, the Majors, or their Aids, or some other Officers, go their Rounds upon the Walls all the Year long, in Places of so great Importance. As for the betraying of it to any Naval Forces, I suppose 'twas never thought on, unless the whole Garrison, with the Burghers, should give their Consent, and stand idly gazing on whilst the Ships were approaching: Indeed there was once a Design upon some Sea-port of this Garrison, to shake and shatter it with a Vessel, which was called for that purpose The Terrible Machine; it made a horrible Crack when it was Fired, and so the Engine and the Design vanish'd in Smoak.

But now admitting that all this was true, and that there was a Contrivance to put Dunkirk into our Hands, and the Plot was discovered, and the Governour was hang'd, (which upon strict Enquiry no one could tell whom he was, or when or where he was Executed) yet why must my Lord Marlborough, or his Lady, be the Betrayers of this weighty Secret? If it was for a good Reward, I suppose no one living can tell how, or when, or where it was paid. And what great Services my Lord has done for the French King, for a great many Years to this very Day; let the World judge.

But to put all this Matter out of doubt, our most Gracious Sovereign Lady the QUEEN, who was then Princess, was at that time the best Judge of this Untruth cast upon them; for notwithstanding the high displeasure of the Court, she always gave them Umbrage and Protection, which without doubt she would not have done, unless she was thoroughly persuaded of their Innocence.

To be short, my Lord was a true Lover of the Interest of his Country, and a true Member of the Church of England; and most Places of State and Power were in the Hands of such Persons, who seem'd to depress the Fences of the Church, and favour the Dissenters, and their Favourers the Whigs: So 'twas not thought convenient that my Lord should be admitted into their Secrets; upon which they gave him a good Name, and turned him out.

My Lord was no sooner discharged of his Places, but like the old Roman Dictator, with the same calmness of Temper he retired from the highest Business of State, to his Villa in the Country; but he shew'd himself as skilful an Husband-Man, as he had been a Soldier: But here he could not long enjoy the Quiet which he sought, but the same Malice found him here, which had turn'd him from the Court; from hence he was taken and clap'd up into the Tower, where most of Friends thought he would have lost that Head, which has since done so much good to his Queen and Country.

And thus I have shew'd how very much my Lord has been obliged to the Whigs in those Days. The Jacobites at this time were not behind hand with him in their good Wishes, but all they could do, was to Rail and call Names, and so promise their good Nature, when 'twas in their Power.

The King, who was certainly an able Judge of Men, had never time enough to be acquainted with the excellent Merits of this Noble Lord, but he was blasted by His Enemies, before his Virtues were sufficiently made known to Him.

But when several great Men, who were true Lovers of their Country, had fully inform'd his Majesty, that my Lord was always his most faithful Servant and Subject, and most willing to serve Him to the utmost of his Power; and that 'twas pity such an able Man should be laid by as useless and forgotten: My Lord was brought again to the King's nearer Conversation; and after the late Peace, as his Majesty found himself decaying in his Health, and the French King dealing more and more every Day insincerely with him, and his Allies, he chose him again his General, and his Ambassador to the States; and having brought him to Holland, that he might be fully instructed in all the necessary Affairs of both Nations, he recommended him to his Successor, our most Gracious QUEEN, as the only fit Person, whose Spirit might encounter the Genius of France, and strangle their Designs of swallowing Europe.

No sooner had our Sovereign Lady Queen ANNE mounted the Throne, but in concert with her High Allies, she proclaim'd War against France; and having created my Lord, Duke of Marlborough, she sent him her Plenepotentiary into Holland to the States, and Captain General of Her Forces; and I am sure a great many Officers who had serv'd under him in the former War, were glad to see him once more at the Head of an Army.

In the beginning of this first Year of the War, the French Army, under the Conduct of Mareschal Boufflers, was a little beforehand with us, and came into the Field stronger than ours; some Troops of the Allies having not yet join'd us. The French had coop'd up our Army under the Walls of Nimeguen, and much ado we had, by frequent Skirmishes, to hinder them from investing that considerable Frontier, at that time unprovided by the neglect of the Governour, as 'tis reported, of all warlike Necessaries for the Defence of it. A Man might then see but an indifferent Ayre in the face of our Forces: The States were under great Apprehensions, least the Enemy should penetrate into their Country; and nothing could recover them from their Fears, till his Grace, after three or four Days, had join'd our Army with some additional Troops; upon his Approach we had immediately a new Scene of Affairs; each Soldier seem'd to receive a new Life by the Cheerfulness of their Officers; and he presently assured the Deputies of the States, that the French should be no longer their bad Neighbours, but he would oblige them to March farther off that Country, and that with a Witness. They were like People in a Trance, and could hardly believe that their Affairs had receiv'd so happy a turn; accordingly we march'd, and having passed the Maes, Coasted along that side of Brabant, which lies towards that River, towards the open Country of Mastricht and Luickland, and not long after, almost in Sight of their Army, we opened that noble River, to the great Benefit of the Trade of the Country, having taken from the French the Fortresses of Stochum, of Stevenswaert, of Ruremond, and Venlo, and at last the strong Cittadel and City of Liege, with a vast quantity of Cannon and Prisoners; the French not daring to relieve any of them by venturing a Battle.

In this Campaign our General shew'd himself a true Master of his Art, having outdone the French Mareschal in every March. When he came into Holland, he was receiv'd into their Cities, as their Tutelar Angel, and their own Generals came to thank him for this happy Campaign, without any sign of Envy.

When he returned to England, he was well receiv'd by the Queen his Mistress, and with the Joy of all good People; but then there was some allay to this good Fortune, several People were heard to Grumble, that after this Manner we should not get to Paris in a long time, and a Speech was Printed, as if a Peer of the Realm had been the Author of it, with some ironical Touches on the Duke, about raising the ancient Valour of the Nation; and that 'twas unreasonable, that one Man should have a King-Key, which should open every Door in the Nation.

About this time also Pamphlets began to fly, much reflecting on the Countess of Marlborough, which I think have not ceas'd, but very much increased against her every Year, to this very Day. I never had the Honour to see that Lady, but once at the Hague; she was there with her Husband, the last time our late King was in that Country; and it was a common Report, at that Court, among a great many Gentlemen of very good Quality, that she was esteemed there among the Foreign Ladies, one of the best bred Women of her Age; and here are Ladies from most Courts of Europe, who, without doubt, are the nicest Judges: But to be sure here at home they give her Name very poor Quarters, and make her guilty of more Folly, than a Retainer to the College in Moor-Fields.

It will be too long for me to set down the particular Victories of every Campaign, and I hope no need of it; because 'tis probable they are fresh in the Memory of every good Subject. His wonderful and conquering March to the Banks of the Danube; His artful Passing the French Lines, purely owing to his own good Conduct; His Beating each one of the French Great Mareschals round in their Turns, in several well fought Battles: A People, who for an Age had bullied the rest of Europe, and had taught other Nations the Art and Tactiques of War, as well as their Modes and Language: Their Captiv'd Generals and Conquered Towns, perhaps the Strongest in the Universe, demonstrate not only his Wisdom, Skill and Conduct, but also his surmounting Courage, and unwearied Labour.

And now at first View a Man might wonder how it should come to pass that such a Renown'd General, after so many Signal Services, and great Actions, for the good of his Country, should be so undervalued and slighted at his return home from the very middle of his Labours, by any one who pretends to value the good of his Nation: But this is no new Thing, all the Histories of the World are full of Examples to this purpose, and most of them of Men of War and Great Captains.

Sir Walter Raleigh has mustered up a long Roll of Glorious Sufferers, from the most ancient to his own Times; and in the Condition in which he then was, might have brought in himself for a remarkable Sharer. For the most eminent Virtues are but as so many fair Marks set up on high for Envy to shoot at with her poysonous Darts, and in all States, 'tis sometimes dangerous to be Great and Good, for cunning Envy is often very strong, and when once its Devices are effectually spread in the Mouths of the Multitude, will produce a Blast able to blow down the most lofty Cedar: 'Tis therefore for the good of the common People of the Nation, that I shall let them see the scandalous Reflections which are scattered abroad on the Honour of the Duke of Marlborough; and when I have shewn to any rational Man that they are all False, Unreasonable, and Malicious, I have my End.

The first Scandal that is put abroad upon his Grace is this: That he has avoided several Opportunities of Fighting, not considering the great burden of Taxes that lies upon the Nation, because the War should be continued longer, whereby he may increase his Riches, and keep up his Power. Now how false this Report is, will easily appear.

For the Business of Peace and War does not depend on a General: 'Tis the Business of his Monarch, who best knows the proper times for such Treaties. Other Princes are concern'd in the War, as well as ours, and their Subjects are as desirous of Peace as any of us can be, yet this Peace can't well be obtain'd without a joint Consent; but if the Enemy against whom we Fight, will not come to any terms of Peace that are Reasonable, and Honourable, and Just, and upon which the War is founded, but in his pretended Treaties, chicanes and falsifies, and is altogether Insincere, then 'tis not the General's Fault if we can't have Peace; we are in for the War, and we must stand to it.

Indeed in the last dear Year of Corn, France was almost reduced to their last Shifts; their Sufferings could be call'd little less than a Famine, and most of the Powers of Europe did really believe that they must have sued for a Peace, if they had not been assisted; but whilst the Circumstances of this Peace were in Agitation, then did the good People of Great Britain and Ireland, the north part of them to Burgundy, and Champaign, by way of Holland, thro' the Maes; and the South Part of them from Dunkirk and Calais over-against Kent, beyond the Mouth of the Garroon on the Western Ocean, supply that Country with vast quantities of Corn, almost to the starving of their own People. Not one of them cried out for Peace, or blam'd the General, their Pockets being well fill'd; But swore in the Markets, over plentiful Nappy, that in a short time they would pull old Lewis out of his Throne.

As for our Generals avoiding Fighting, 'tis easie to guess out of what Quiver this Arrow of Scandal was drawn; for without doubt 'twas forg'd in his own Army; and seeing the Roman History is now much in Fashion, I shall give an Example, as an Answer to this Scandal, and without doubt 'tis home to the Purpose. Haniball had beaten the Romans in three great Battles of Ticinum, Trebia, and Thrasymene: 'Twas his Business to Fight the Romans wherever he could come at them; his Army being compounded of rough old Mercenary Soldiers of divers Nations, who are ready to Mutiny and Desert upon all Occasions, if they have not present Pay or continual Plunder; in this Extremity the old Fabius was chosen Dictator, or supream Commander; he was a good Man of War, and understood his Business; and for his Lieutenant, or Master of the Horse, which among them was all one, he chose one Minutius, the worst thing that ever he did; because in a short time he found him to be an Ungrateful, Conceited, Hot-headed Accuser. Fabius with great skill and caution avoided Battle by Coasting Hanibal on the sides of Hills in rough Ground, by Woods and Rivers, and hard Passes; because much inferior in Horse to the Carthaginian; and thereby gain'd time to confirm the Hearts of his Soldiers, and so make them capable by degrees to look the Enemy in the Face. Hanibal soon found that by no means he could draw in this wary old Gamester, but declar'd, that he fear'd nothing more than that Clowd which hung about the Hill Tops, least some time or other it should fall down and severely wet him. Winter coming on, and the Dictator being obliged to return home about some other Affairs; He left his Army to the Care of this Master of the Horse, with a strict charge to shun Fighting with all possible Care, and to follow the Example which he had set before him: He was prowd of this Opportunity of Commanding the Army, and believ'd himself the best and the ablest Man for it; he procured to have his Courage magnified at home among the common People, and that if he had a Command equal to the Captain General, he would soon give a better Account of Hanibal and his Army; that Fabius was afraid to look towards his Enemy, and thereby disheartned the Soldiers, who were otherwise naturally Brave; and by his Fearfulness suffered these Barbarians to Ravage in their Country, to their Ruine and Destruction. The Tribunes of the People, not much better than Captains of the Mob, were his particular Friends, and they complaining to the Senate, every where gave it out, that after this manner of Fabius his going on, the War would never have an end, that the City would be undone by perpetual Taxes; that all Trade was ceas'd, and nothing to be seen among the Commons, but a sad Prospect of growing Poverty.

The Senate was wearied out by these Factious Importunities, till at last 'twas granted, that the Master of the Horse should have equal Command with that Great Man who would preserve them from Ruine. Accordingly he receiv'd half of the Army to be under his Charge, by a Lot, for Fabius would not endure, because he foresaw what would come to pass, that it shou'd be in his Power, for one Day, to command the whole. Minutius, forsooth, to show his Bravery, march'd nearer to the Enemy. Hannibal had laid a Train for the Hotspur, and soon caught him; and both he and his Army had been soon cut to pieces if the Old General, not permitting private Revenge to interfere with the good of his Country, had not drawn down in very good Order, repuls'd the Ambush, and secur'd his Retreat. The best thing that Minutius cou'd do, was to beg Pardon for his Fault, and promise more regard to his Superiors for the future. So that you see 'tis the Experienc'd, Skilful, Old General who is best Judge of times of Fighting; and that Man who asperses his Honour is to be suspected as either wanting Judgment, or an Enemy to the Publick.

Another Scandal was lately rais'd against his Grace, as touching his good Conduct and Skill, as he is a General; and this is much among those sort of People, whose Mouths go off smartly with a Whiff of Tobacco, and fight Battles, and take Towns over a Dish of Coffee. They give out, like Men of great Understanding in the Art Military, that the Duke is more beholding to his Good-Fortune than his Skill, in the Advantages he has gain'd over the French, and that he may thank the Prince of Savoy, and the good Forces which he Commands, more than his own Skill in War, for his great Reputation.

The Good-Fortune of His Grace ought to be attributed to the good Providence of GOD, for which, both he and the whole Nation ought to be thankful. 'Tis a great Happiness to have such a Fortunate General; and, without doubt, the French King would purchase such another at any rate, if he could.

But then, Nullum numen abest, si sit Prudentia. The General that is Prudent, and Vigilant, and Temperate, Alert, and Industrious, with an humble Submission to the Will of the Almighty, takes the right way of obliging Fortune to be of his Side: Or, to speak better, the Blessings of Heaven to crown his Endeavours: For in War 'tis seldom known, (quite contrary to the Old Proverb) that in conducting Armies and fighting Battles, Fools have Fortune.

As for his Acting in Concert with the Heroick Prince of Savoy, who is, without doubt, one of the ablest Generals of the Universe, and chusing of him to be his Friend and Colleague, is one of the strongest Arguments of his Art and Knowledge: Mutual Danger, and mutual Principles of Honour, have entirely united them. In all difficult Points they presently agree, as if what one was Speaking, the other was Thinking of the same Matter at the very same time: And no Person can believe, that Prince Eugene would endure that any Person in the World should share with him in his Fame and Glory, unless such an Hero, whom he thinks in all Points to be his Equal. As for the Troops under his Command, 'tis evident to the World, that they excel all others; for the sake of their Countries they are prodigal of their Blood; and under such a General, by their own Confession, when they go to Action, think of nothing else but Victory and Triumph.

But Matters of Fact are the best Arguments. Amongst the great number which might be produc'd, I shall only Instance these two following; and I am sorry that those People who have not seen Marching or Embatteling Armies cannot be competent Judges of them. Let the first be in the first Campaign, in the first Year of Her Majesty's Reign. We were encamp'd on the Confines of Brabant, not far from a little Town call'd Peer; the Country round about is almost all great Heaths and large Commons; we were in full March betimes in the Morning, and, by the countenance of our March, 'twas suppos'd we should have a long and a late Fatigue; when, on a sudden, about Eleven a Clock, we had Orders to halt, and to encamp at the bottom of an Heath, behind some rising Grounds and great Sand-Hills, near a Place called Hilteren; and according to the Time that my Lord Duke had projected, Mareschal Boufflers, with his Army, was blunder'd upon us, within Shot of our Cannon, not knowing where we were. At that time we were superior to the French, especially in Horse; they could by no means avoid a Battle, the Mareschal was caught: And if the Deputies of the States, and their Generals, could have been perswaded to venture a Battle, in conjunction with the other Allies; and they were entreated enough, almost with Tears, by all the other Princes and Generals of the Army, 'tis very probable the French, under that great surprize, had been severely beaten. At last they stole away from us in a dark Night, and were glad of the Escape. And thus then you see the great Skill of our General, to entrap the French Mareschal in his March, in the middle of the Day, and to make him, in a manner, fall into his Arms.

The second Instance is from the Battle of Ramelies. A Stratagem well laid argues the great Dexterity and Penetration of a General; in deep hollow Ways, in close Bottoms, and nigh sides of Woods, Ambuscades are often laid, and, perhaps, as often discovered; but to bring an Ambush upon an Enemy, into the open Country, in the face of the Sun, requires an assured Skill, as well as a daring Courage. Thus 'tis said of the Great Hannibal, at the Battle of Cannæ, that in the open Field he brought an Ambush on the Backs of the Romans, which very much help'd to encrease their Terror and Confusion. And thus did our General, at the foremention'd Battle, but with a better Contrivance.

The French King had Intelligence given him, that all the Forces of our Army were not join'd, and accordingly sent positive Orders to his General, not to let slip that Opportunity of chastising the Insolence of the Allies, for that was the Expression; and indeed 'twas true, the Allies had been pretty bold with him several times before: and the Mareschal doubted not but to have time enough to execute his Master's Commands, before a good Body of Horse, which he understood to be at a great distance, could be able to come up and assist us. The Duke gave a pretty good Guess at the Monsieur's Designs, and before-hand had sent strict Order, that they, without the least delay, should speed immediately towards him, and in the middle of the Night, to halt at a Village where he had appointed, not above two Leagues from his Camp; and after a little Refreshment, and Preparation for Service, must be ready to move at break of Day, upon the first bruit of Cannon: For their resting in that Place, and at such a distance, would be much more to his Advantage than if they had join'd him.

The Business being thus order'd, he was resolv'd the Enemy should not take all the Pains in coming towards him, but to meet them on part of the Way. The French Right Wing, in which were their best Troops, oppos'd our Left, and in their vigorous Charge had the better of the Allies: The Duke, with the other Generals, rallied them again; but finding it difficult to sustain the strong Impression of the Enemy, presently gave out, and it took among all the Squadrons in a Moment, That a great number of the best Troops in the World, who were their Friends, were just at their Heels with Sword in hand, ready to sustain them, that no Power of the Enemy could look them in the Face; which being seen to be true, as well as felt by the Enemy, they were soon repulsed, discourag'd, and put into Confusion, which was the first cause of the general Rout of their Army.

And thus then you see, that our General wants neither Conduct or Courage: And as 'twas once said to that Renown'd Captain Epaminondas, who having no Children, and being about to die of his honourable Wounds, that his two Battels of Leuctra and Mantinæa should be as two fair Daughters to preserve his Memory. So may we say, that the many Battles and Sieges, fought and won by our Great Marlborough, in the Provinces of Gelders, of Limbourg, of Brabant, of Flanders, of Artois, of Hainault, shall be far excelling the most numerous Progeny to eternize his Name.

The other false Reports that are spread among the People, by the Enemies of the Duke, are these; That his way of Living in the Army is Mean and Parsimonious, unbecoming the Honour and Dignity of his Post. That the Income and Revenue from the Profits of his Places are too much for a Subject: And that he minds nothing so much as getting of Riches. All which Reports are false and malicious, and only the Designs of his secret Enemies.

Wo be to them that call Evil Good, and Good Evil. Some of this was part of the False Accusation that was urged against Scipio the Asiatic, by the Malice and ill Nature of Cato and his Accomplices; That he had squandred away the Money of the Government, in a great measure, by his excessive Way of Living; for so his Magnificence was termed by them: That his vast Treats and luxurious Tables had some popular Design. And, to be sure, if our General should offer to live after any such manner, the Nation would be fill'd with perpetual Clamour, that he treated the Officers to make them his Creatures, and in a short time would set up for himself; for, without doubt, those things which other Men might do, tho' much inferior to the Duke, with a general Applause, in him would be Criminal, and of bad Consequence.

In all ancient Histories nothing is more highly prais'd in Princes and great Captains, than Temperance and Moderation in Meat and Drink. The Commander of the Army ought to be vigilant, that (as a good Prince once said) the People committed to his Charge may sleep more safely; and 'tis not to be conceiv'd how such a Person, who is loaded continually with foggy Intemperance, can be Careful, Active, Watchful, Alert, Thoughtful, Foreseeing, being all Qualities necessary for so great a Charge.

His Grace governs his Family abroad like a wise Master, with good Order and Method; every thing about him shines with a temperate Use, and a daily chearful Plenty, not only for his own Domesticks, but for many others; but then all this is in due time and season: He has no Constitution for an Intemperate Life, and the Loads of it would soon destroy him.

As for his great Profits in the Army, let us take a view of them: There is an Author call'd, The Examiner, who has been very diligent in searching into His Grace's Revenue: But I am sure, in his Perquisites belonging to the Army he can be no Judge; the Pay of a Captain General, by the Day, may be known to any one, I suppose 'tis set down in the Present State of England, as well as Master of the Ordnance, and Colonel of a Regiment of Foot-Guards; these are all his Military Employments, and the Pay of them as much his due, as the Pay of Three Shillings and Six-Pence is to an Ensign. The Earl of Rumney had all these Places except Captain-General; he was both a Lieutenant-General and an Ambassador, and enjoy'd them a long time, and yet I never heard of any Man that envied him, or found fault that he had too many Places. And 'tis a common thing for a great Mareschal of France to have many more Posts, and of much greater Profits.

Any young Clerk, who belongs to an Agent, can presently show how many Regiments of Horse, Foot, and Dragoons are in the Pay of Her Majesty, under the Duke; and everyone there, from a General to a Drummer, what their proper Pay is, nor can they be deceived. The Hospitals and the Artillery are paid accordingly, in an exact Method. The Pay of each particular Body is issued out to the Pay-masters of the Army, from the Pay-Master-General; and the Duke touches not a Farthing but what properly belongs to him. And whereas abundance of People complain, that almost all the Money of the Nation was, by the late Lord Treasurer, sent into Flanders to pay the Troops there; no matter what became of the other parts of the War. This I know to be true, That the mercenary or hired Forces, which are in our Pay, and are the greatest part of our Army under the Duke, being most of them Danes, Swiss, Saxons, and Palatines, all of the German kind, will not march one Foot, notwithstanding all the Perswasions that any General can use; no, not to save any King or Prince in the World, unless they are duly paid, at the appointed times, according to their first Agreement: but then, as soon as you shew the Gheldt, they presently Shoulder, and Stalk wheresoever you please.

What the Queen is pleas'd to allow the Duke for his Secret Service, because his Eyes and Ears must be in all Secret Cabinets, (and, without doubt, his Intelligence must be very good) it is not fit for me or the Examiner to know; or, for ought I can judge, any one else besides in the World.

The Perquisites of Safeguards and Contributions, which in all Times have belong'd to Generals, can't easily be valued, they are according to the Countries in which the War is carried. But for all these Profits to be ascrib'd to the Duke, (as in several Pamphlets 'tis evident they are) is very unreasonable; because there are two other Chief Generals besides, the Prince of Savoy for the Imperialists, and Count Tilly for the States, each of which will claim their Parts as well as His Grace; besides the gross of them, which are given to the States themselves: and yet we hear of no Complaint, or Papers printed against them, or in the least envied by any of the Nations under whom they serve.

In short, 'tis all the Reason that a conquering General, who fights our Battels, and must look the Powers of Europe in the Face, as he is distinguish'd by Titles of Honour, so where-ever he goes he ought to be attended with Plenty and Riches.

A Sea-Captain, after the Service of Nine or Ten Years, is usually Master of a very great Fortune, he Sails in his Coach with rich Liveries for his Colours, and Steers from his City to his Country-House unenvied, and without unmerciful Remarks. The honest Gentlemen in Town, call'd Agents, most of whom are risen from a mean Condition to be Members of Parliament, Justices of the Peace, and to purchase Estates, where-ever they can find out Land to be dispos'd of, who never ventur'd their Lives farther than from the Pay-Office to the Tavern; and yet they make a Figure in the World with a very good Grace, untouch'd, or not mark'd by any Observator.

But this has been the Fortune of the most glorious Persons, to be envied and persecuted whilst they are alive, and when taken away from us by some unlucky Accident, are desir'd too late, and lamented with a Witness.

If we observe, through the whole Nation, either here in this Capital, or in any other Parts of England, allowing but for proportion of Merit and Dignity, we shall find more People belonging to Offices of Docks and Yards, to Offices of Stores and Victualling, who have made as good use of the Places in which they serve, and with no greater Fatigue and Danger than Figuring and Writing, as the best and richest General in Europe.

When my Lord Marlborough had escap'd the Wars, and was return'd to the quiet of the Country, no Word was heard of him in Court or Town, no one talked of his Money, or Riches, or Estate; but no sooner was he again call'd to the High Station in which he now Acts, but Envy had presently found him out, even in the midst of Guards and Arms, and ever since has follow'd him close with all sorts of False-Reports, to this very time; as if nothing but his most excellent Qualities, and growing Glory, could make him Unfortunate.

Indeed Generals, tho' the most accomplish'd Heroes, are but Men, they are not Infallible, but may be mistaken as well as other Mortals, they are subject to Faults and Infirmities as well as their Fellow-Creatures; but then their great Services for the good of their Country ought to be cast into the Ballance, against their humane Mistakes; and not only Charity, but Self-consideration should give them very good Quarter, unless their Faults are prov'd to be Wilful and Contumacious.

I know not how it might happen to the Duke if he should chance to Miscarry, or be beaten in a Battle; God be prais'd, as yet he has never been foil'd: but then we must not suppose that he is Invincible, that Fortune will always be confin'd to the Pomel of his Sword. But this is certain, that the French King has not been severe to any of his Great Captains, tho', in their turns, they have been all beaten by the Prince of Savoy and the Duke, the Prince taking one of his chief Mareschals a Prisoner with him out of the midst of his Garison; the Duke another of them on the Banks of the Danube, with the greatest part of the Banners and Trophies of his almost captiv'd Army: there are no Outcries of the Common People for a Sacrifice to the Publick, nor base Reflections made on their Courage or Conduct; because 'tis suppos'd in all those fiery Ordeals of Battles, a General exerts all the Faculties and Powers of Body and Soul; he puts Nature on the stretch. And as my Lord Duke, at the conclusion of the great Battle of Blenheim said, I think to his Honour, that he believed he had pray'd more that Day than all the Chaplains of his Army.

Therefore let not People think, that those Gentlemen who are call'd to fight Battles make use of those Employments, in the heat of a bloody War, for Diversion or Pleasure. They who have been Spectators of what they do and what they suffer, will soon be perswaded, that no People under Heaven purchase their Profits and Honours at a dearer rate.

'Tis a great happiness to a Nation to have a generous Race of Warlike People, who, at all times, are ready to venture their Lives in the defence of it. Cowardice is the highest Scandal to a Country, and exposes it to be a Prey to every Invader, as well as a Scorn to their Neighbours. In all Histories of the World, they who dare die for the sake of their Country, have been esteem'd as a sort of Martyrs: And the People who are protected at Home in their Estates, Ease, Safety, and Liberties, ought not to grudge them of any of their Perquisites; but to bless God for such a gallant number of Martial Brethren, who drive the War at a great distance, so that we see none, we do but hear of it; for 'tis a sad thing to behold the Ravages, the Ruine, the Spoils, the Devastations of those Countries which happen to be the Seats of War.

When the Officers, coming from Flanders, after the Campaign, appear in the newest Fashions, which they bring over with them, with a good Ayre and genteel Mien, which is almost common to them, the People, who never saw the Hardships which they undergo, think them only design'd for Pleasure and Ease, and their Profession to be desir'd above any thing in the World besides. They often hear of Fights and Sieges, and of a great many Men kill'd in a few Hours; but because they see not the Actions, the Talk leaves but a small and transient Impression, and so in a small time is wip'd off and forgotten. But if they did but see them in a Rainy Season, when the whole Country about them is trod into a Chaos, and in such intolerable Marches, Men and Horses dying and dead together, and the best of them glad of a bundle of Straw to lay down their wet and weary Limbs: If they did but see a Siege, besides the daily danger and expectation of Death, which is common to all, from the General to the Centinel; the Watches, the Labours, the Cares which attend the greatest; the ugly Sights, the Stinks of Mortality, the Grass all wither'd and black with the Smoke of Powder, the horrid Noises all Night and all Day, and Spoil and Destruction on every side; I am sure they would be perswaded, that a State of War, to those who are engag'd in it, must needs, be a state of Labour and Misery; and that a great General, I mean such a one as the Duke of Marlborough, weak in his Constitution, and well stricken in Years, would not undergo those eating Cares, which must be continually at his Heart; the Toils and Hardships which he must endure, and the often Sorrows which must prick his Heart for ugly Accidents, if he has the least Spark of humane Commiseration, I say, he would not engage himself in such a Life, if not for the sake of his Queen and Country, and his Honour.

I come now to add a word or two of the government of the Forces under his Care. His own Example gives a particular Life to his Orders; and as no indecent Expression, unbecoming, unclean, or unhandsome Language ever drops from his Lips, so he is imitated by the genteel part of his Army: His Camps are like a quiet and well-govern'd City; and, I am apt to believe, much more Mannerly; Cursing and Swearing, and boisterous Words being never heard among those who are accounted good Officers: And, without doubt, his Army is the best Academy in the World to teach a young Gentlemen Wit and Breeding; a Sot and a Drunkard being scorn'd among them.

These poor Wretches, that are (too many of them) the refuse and off-scowrings of the worst parts of our Nation, after two Campaigns, by the Care of their Officers, and good Order and Discipline, are made Tractable, and Civil, and Orderly, and Sensible, and Clean, and have an Ayre and a Spirit that is beyond vulgar People.

The Service of GOD, according to the Order of our Church, is strictly enjoin'd by the Dukes special Care; and in all fixed Camps, every Day, Morning and Evening, there are Prayers; and on Sundays Sermons are duly perform'd with all Decency and Respect, as well as in Garisons. And, to be sure, the Good-Nature, and Compassion, and Charity of Officers express'd to the poor sick and wounded Soldiers, and to their Families in Garison, is more Liberal, and Generous, and Free, than usually we meet with in our own Country.

And now then I hope my good Country-men will not suffer themselves any longer to be impos'd on by false Reports, which are cunningly spread abroad among them, against a Gentleman, a Patriot, who ventures his Life, every Day, for their Safety, and is endeavouring to the utmost of his Power, under his Most Gracious Sovereign, by his Courage, his Skill, and his Wisdom, to bring the Common Enemy to Reason, and to procure them and our Allies, an honourable and lasting Peace.

'Tis a thing of ill Consequence to bring a Disreputation on the good Name of a General; and to lessen his Honour is to dispirit his Army: for when the Forces under his Command have once a mean Opinion of the Integrity, and Honour, and Conduct of their General, they may be drawn out and forced to Battle, but never be perswaded to think of Laurels and Victory.

'Tis an old Piece of Policy for an Enemy, if possible, to bring an Odium on the Honour of a General against whom he is to act. Thus did Hannibal, who, in his moroding Marches, had spared some Grounds belonging to the Dictator Fabius, not out of any respect or kindness to his Person, but to bring him into Envy and Suspicion among the People at Rome; and so 'twas given out by one of the Tribunes, that Hannibal and he had, as it were, made a Truce; that the drift of Fabius could be nothing else but to prolong the War, that he might be long in Office, and have the sole Government both of City and Armies. And, without doubt, the French King would have been very well satisfied, if this same Aspersion, which was lately spread abroad concerning our General, had taken the effect of having him laid aside, and put out of his Places. A Finish'd Hero does not grow up every Day, they are scarce Plants, and do not thrive in every Soil; He may be easily lost, but then that Loss cannot easily be repair'd; therefore there is great Reason to Value and Esteem him.

To conclude, As our great Commander is known to the World, or at least to the greatest part of it, to be Temperate, Sober, Careful, Couragious, Politick, Skilful, so he is Courteous, Mild, Affable, Humble, and Condescending to People of the meanest Condition. And as 'tis said of Moses, the Great, the Valiant Captain-General of Almighty God, for an immortal Title of Honour, that he was one of the Meekest Men upon the Earth; so, without doubt, our Captain-General, John Duke of Marlborough, has a great share of it.



Authorship of A Short Narrative

While no direct contemporary corroboration exists as evidence for Defoe's authorship, a considerable number of literary mannerisms, interests, and opinions appear to establish it conclusively.

As Professor John Robert Moore said, The Life is "exceptionally characteristic" of Defoe, so characteristic in fact that "one can recognize his style and manner as one would a familiar voice."[21] The list of phrases and mannerisms which produce this effect is extensive: The insertion of qualifying or explanatory phrases ("The first time that I had the Honour of seeing John, Earl of Marlborough, [for so I shall call him till he was created Duke] ..."), the use of "sentence paragraphs," the repetition of such introductory phrases as "To be short," "but now to the Truth of the matter," "in short," and "to put all this matter out of doubt," and the frequent use of words such as "matter" and "purpose" to emphasize the force and pertinence of his arguments mark Defoe's writings throughout his career. The use of the present participle construction as subject ("As for his Acting in Concert with the Heroick Prince of Savoy … is one of the strongest Arguments of his Art and Knowledge"), long sentences hung together with "and" and qualified with subordinate clauses, and a propensity for coining words ("over-Honored and over-Paid") make Defoe's writing nearly unmistakable and give it the hasty, colloquial quality. His Latin quotations are off hand and rather careless.

At the same time, Defoe has great stylistic virtuosity. He is always direct and forceful. Although he is attacking some of the most powerful men in politics and literature in The Life, there is nothing at all deferential. He includes trivial and often superfluous details which give whatever he writes an authentic tone; these details may be places ("After several Marches, we came to the Confines of Haynault, within a League of a small Town call'd Walcourt...."), names of people ("Mr. Sizar was our Pay-Master General...."), or observations ("twas supposed we would have a long and a late Fatigue"). The same sort of verisimilitude which deceived the readers of Memoirs of Captain Carleton and Journal of the Plague Year supports the illusion of an eye witness account. Defoe's metaphors are also distinctive. While there are no great number, they are graphic, often simplify and condense an idea, and join image and idea in much the same way that seventeenth-century conceits do. Drawing on the common place, the originality and force comes from their aptness ("'tis easie to guess out of what Quiver this Arrow of Scandal was drawn," "For the most eminent Virtues are but as so many fair Marks set up on high for Envy to shoot at with her poysonous darts"). Characteristic idioms—"Engineer that stands behind the curtains," "the Lord knows who and where"—can be found on every page. Small touches such as an allusion to one of Defoe's favorite jokes (Lord Craven's retort to de Vere concerning his ancestry) can also be identified.

Furthermore, the allusions to historical and Biblical figures are consistent with Defoe's life-long usage, opinions and interests. Sir Walter Raleigh and Hannibal, Moses and Solomon are referred to for the same purposes in writings from The Shortest Way with Dissenters to Atalantis Major (a typically explicit analog: from The Shortest Way—"Moses was a merciful meek man" and from The Life—"Moses … one of the Meekest Men upon the Earth"). Defoe habitually commented on the policies of military men and statesmen, traced topography, and included the large features of military campaigns which could be found in printed records. Defoe's opinions on drinking, swearing, reliance on Providence, leadership qualities, gratitude, and courage, to mention a few, are consistent throughout his life and found in this pamphlet. For example, he makes the same distinctions in types of courage in Journal of the Plague Year, the Review, Robinson Crusoe, Atalantis Major, and Memoirs of Captain Carleton that he does in The Life ("True courage cannot proceed from what Sir Walter Raleigh finely calls the art or philosophy of quarrel. No! It must be the issue of principle...").

Moreover, the pamphlet itself bears certain marks indicative of Defoe's hand. It was published by John Baker, "at the Black-Boy in Pater-noster-Row," Defoe's usual publisher for that year. Had it been published by, say, Tonson, the immediate conclusion would be that it was not Defoe's. Baker appeared to take greater care with Defoe's pamphlets than he did with some others; A Defence of Dr. Sacheverell, for example, has fifty lines of small type to the page. Six other tracts by Defoe have titles beginning with "Short" or "Shortest." The use of the eye witness narrator and the soldier narrator are recurring devices which Defoe used to protect himself or his sources and to add weight to what he was purporting to be factual.

Finally Marlborough was one of Defoe's heroes until at least late 1711. He praises him highly in Seldom Comes a Better, Atalantis Major, and The Quaker's Sermon. It is with reluctance that Defoe is persuaded that Marlborough must be displaced, and even in the poem on the occasion of Marlborough's funeral, his disapproval seems to be more for the ostentatiousness and inappropriateness of the funeral than for the man himself. All in all, there is scarcely a line in The Life which does not bear Defoe's fingerprints.



The Augustan Reprint Society



The Augustan Reprint Society



  16. Henry Nevil Payne, The Fatal Jealousie (1673).

  18. "Of Genius," in The Occasional Paper, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to The Creation (1720).


  19. Susanna Centlivre, The Busie Body (1709).

  20. Lewis Theobald, Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734).

  22. Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749), and two Rambler papers (1750).

  23. John Dryden, His Majesties Declaration Defended (1681).


  26. Charles Macklin, The Man of the World (1792).

  31. Thomas Gray, An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard (1751), and The Eton College Manuscript.


  41. Bernard Mandeville, A Letter to Dion (1732).


109. Sir William Temple, An Essay Upon the Original and Nature of Government (1680).

110. John Tutchin, Selected Poems (1685-1700).

111. Political Justice (1736).

113. T. R., An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning (1698).

114. Two Poems Against Pope: Leonard Welsted, One Epistle to Mr. A. Pope (1730); and The Blatant Beast (1742).


115. Daniel Defoe and others, Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal.

116. Charles Macklin, The Convent Garden Theatre (1752).

117. Sir Roger L'Estrange, Citt and Bumpkin (1680).

118. Henry More, Enthusiasmus Triumphatus (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation (1717).

120. Bernard Mandeville, Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables (1740).


123. Edmond Malone, Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to Mr. Thomas Rowley (1782).

124. The Female Wits (1704).

125. The Scribleriad (1742). Lord Hervey, The Difference Between Verbal and Practical Virtue (1742).


133. John Courtenay, A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the Late Samuel Johnson (1786).

134. John Downes, Roscius Anglicanus (1708).

135. Sir John Hill, Hypochondriasis, a Practical Treatise (1766).

136. Thomas Sheridan, Discourse … Being Introductory to His Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language (1759).

137. Arthur Murphy, The Englishman From Paris (1736).


138. [Catherine Trotter] Olinda's Adventures (1718).

139. John Ogilvie, An Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients (1762).

140. A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) and Pudding Burnt to Pot or a Compleat Key to the Dissertation on Dumpling (1727).

141. Selections from Sir Roger L'Estrange's Observator (1681-1687).

142. Anthony Collins, A Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in Writing (1729).

143. A Letter From A Clergyman to His Friend, With An Account of the Travels of Captain Lemuel Gulliver (1726).

144. The Art of Architecture, A Poem. In Imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry (1742).


145-146. Thomas Shelton, A Tutor to Tachygraphy, or Short-writing (1642) and Tachygraphy (1647).

147-148. Deformities of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1782).

149. Poeta de Tristibus: or the Poet's Complaint (1682).

150. Gerard Langbaine, Momus Triumphans: or the Plagiaries of the English Stage (1687).


151-152. Evan Lloyd, The Methodist. A Poem (1766).

153. Are these Things So? (1740), and The Great Man's Answer to Are these Things So? (1740).

154. Arbuthnotiana: The Story of the St. Alb-ns Ghost (1712), and A Catalogue of Dr. Arbuthnot's Library (1779).

155-156. A Selection of Emblems from Herman Hugo's Pia Desideria (1624), with English Adaptations by Francis Quarles and Edmund Arwaker.


157. William Mountfort, The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (1697).

158. Colley Cibber, A Letter from Mr. Cibber, to Mr. Pope (1742).

159. [Catherine Clive], The Case of Mrs. Clive (1744).

160. [Thomas Tryon], A Discourse … of Phrensie, Madness or Distraction from A Treatise of Dreams and Visions [1689].

161. Robert Blair, The Grave. A Poem (1743).

162. Bernard Mandeville, A Modest Defence of Publick Stews (1724).

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