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for the taxes of their citizens. The metropolitan commission which acts as a servant and not as the master of the municipalities which support it, which assumes part of their municipal responsibilities but does not detract from their individual independence, which permits economy but does not lead to a degeneration of civic pride, which is the executive body of a federation of closely united cities, assuming the charge of a duty common to all in somewhat the same manner that the federal Government cares for many common interests of closely united States, such a commission organized on such a basis would provide a tolerably satisfactory answer to the problem of government as applied to the modern great city.

W. RODMAN PEABODY.

A NEW EDITION OF DEFOE.*

Ir is just two hundred years since Daniel Defoe completed the first collected edition of his works by adding to the "True Collection," of July, 1703, "A Second Volume of the Writings of the Author of the True-Born Englishman. Some whereof never before printed. Corrected and Enlarged by the Author." It is interesting to observe that, if to-day there were any reason for suppressing Defoe's name on the title-pages, his works would undoubtedly appear as those of the "Author of Robinson Crusoe," a masterpiece destined to be read by hundreds of thousands of readers ignorant of the fact that a satire in verse, entitled "The True-Born Englishman," ever set the heterogeneous English people laughing and commended its author to the favor of the Dutch-born king, William the Third. It is still more significant to find that, of the thirty-nine poems and pamphlets Defoe thought worthy of collecting in permanent form, only the just named satire and the famous pamphlet, "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters " which, to borrow his own pun in a letter to Harley, was Defoe's shortest way to ruin financially and, in the opinion of many persons, morally have been included in the latest edition of his writings. This is but another way of saying that it is Defoe the great prototype of the latterday realistic novelists, and not Defoe the pamphleteer, the satirist, the forerunner of the modern interviewer and editor, that has impressed. himself upon the consciousness of the reading world. It is perhaps even more curious to perceive that more than nine-tenths of any recent edition of Defoe consists of works published, if not written, between his sixtieth and sixty-seventh years, a fact that does not altogether square with the theories put forth from time to time as to the comparative uselessness of aging men.

The edition of Defoe which the Messrs. Crowell have recently given us should not, of course, apply the term "works" to the comparatively small portion of Defoe's writings gathered within sixteen clearly printed

"The Works of Daniel Defoe." In sixteen volumes. With Introductions by G. H. Maynadier, Ph.D. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.

and convenient volumes. Even a rigid winnowing of the two hundred and fifty odd titles that appear in Mr. William Lee's bibliography would still furnish far more material for an edition of Defoe's "Works" than any modern publisher would be likely to confront with equanimity. If in this winnowed list we were to retain the nine volumes of the famous "Review," of which the British Museum owns what is or at least has been for some years stated to be a unique complete set, and if to it we were to add the contributions to "Mist's Journal," and other newspapers identified by Mr. Lee as Defoe's, to say nothing of the numerous letters to Harley printed by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, we should have a mass of material which could be gathered in a definitive edition only after the expenditure of almost as much labor and money as would be required for a similar edition of Defoe's titanic rival in the art of driving a pen, his pious and learned contemporary, Cotton Mather.

What the American publishers have really given us is what Messrs. J. M. Dent & Co. gave us ten years ago, under the very competent editorship of Mr. George A. Aitken, viz., a collection of "Romances and Narratives by Daniel Defoe❞— unless, indeed, one objects to the use of the word "romance" in connection with so matter-of-fact a writer. With the exception of Dr. Maynadier's introductions and the substitution of “The True-Born Englishman" and "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters" for the interesting tract on the perennial servant problem, "Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business," and the plea for better treatment of old people, entitled "The Protestant Monastery," the American edition apparently follows the British without variation in the matter of material. To complain of this state of affairs would be idle, for it is not likely that the American public would buy more of Defoe than can be forced upon the British public, or that it would specially relish the substitution of such books as "The Family Instructor" and "Religious Courtship" for, let us say, "A New Voyage Round the World" and "Due Preparations for the Plague." The publishers are not to be blamed, nor are the readers of to-day; for if ever a man literally buried himself in a mass of printed pages, rivalled an encyclopedia in the range of his topics, and rendered the study of his career perplexing, if not baffling, to biographers, historians, and critics, that man is Daniel Defoe.

Yet in spite of the difficulties of the task and of the fact that no adequate public support can be expected for it, it remains a matter of regret that a fairly complete and well-edited edition of Defoe's miscel

laneous works is not accessible to students of English literature and history, not to mention students of economics and geography, and that no thoroughly satisfactory biography of one of the greatest writers and most interesting men that ever lived should exist for the delectation and instruction of the general as well as of the special reader. There is no lack, to be sure, of elaborate biographies, those of Walter Wilson and William Lee being excellent for their respective periods (1830 and 1869) from the point of view of thoroughness, although scarcely from that of popular appeal. The conscientious biography by Mr. Thomas Wright (1894), in spite of its mechanical construction, might have done service in inducing students to revise in a slight degree their unfavorable estimate of Defoe's character, had not the biographer developed the fantastic theory that his hero kept a vow of silence toward his wife and children for twenty-nine years. This preposterous theory, which was based upon the notion, supported by Defoe, that "Robinson Crusoe" is an allegory of its author's life, and particularly upon an anecdote told in the "Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe," was at variance not merely with human nature, but with many of the facts already known with regard to Defoe's way of life; yet a decade ago Mr. Aitken felt called upon to argue seriously against it.

Certain passages in Defoe's letters to Harley, made public three years after Mr. Wright wrote his book, make the theory undiscussable except as a curiosity of literature; but the entire correspondence also renders inadequate those chapters of Mr. Wright's predecessors that deal with Defoe's tangled career from the time he was committed to Newgate, after standing in the pillory hung with garlands, to the death of that Queen Anne whose efficient and somewhat tortuous secret-service man he became under Harley and Godolphin. Some of the main facts of this dark period of Defoe's life had been either known or shrewdly guessed at; but a fair amount of really detailed information about it has been accessible only in the last few years. I cannot see that it necessitates much revision of our views as to Defoe's character, since it only forces us to reckon in detail ten years earlier with the tortuous intrigues of the government informer who had been but too plainly revealed when Mr. Lee, a generation ago, printed the letters to Charles De la Faye. The correspondence with Harley is so full of interesting details, however, that although some good articles have been based upon it, an exhaustive biography utilizing it as well as the valuable gleanings of Mr. Aitken and other scholars is a great desideratum.

In the matter of an adequate edition of Defoe's miscellaneous writ

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ings, we are worse off than we are in the matter of a satisfactory biography. The Dent and Crowell editions, as we have seen, give us little besides the stories and narratives. The Hazlitt edition, which, according to Prof. Saintsbury, promised to be somewhat satisfactory, stopped in the midst of the fourth volume some sixty or more years ago because of a lack of public support. This is said to have checked the issue of more volumes in Bohn's Library. The edition in twenty volumes printed at Oxford in 1840 and 1841 furnished reprints not only of the novels but of a few of the noteworthy tracts, as well as of such important works as "The Family Instructor," "Religious Courtship,' "The Complete English Tradesman," "A System of Magic," "The History and Reality of Apparitions," and "The Political History of the Devil." There have been posthumous publications, such as "The Complete English Gentleman," edited by Dr. Bülbring in 1890. The famous "Essay on Projects" and the less known but still rather important 'Consolidator" were made accessible in a volume by the late Prof. Morley; but, when all is told, the student of Defoe, as I have had occasion to learn within the past few months, has a harder time than he should have, especially in America, in endeavoring to gather the material necessary for a detailed understanding of Defoe's marvellous literary and journalistic versatility, or for an intelligent and sympathetic investigation of the man's sinuous career and mysterious character. He is grateful for what publishers and editors have given him; but when he has ranged all the reprints on his shelves and has bought or borrowed from friends all the originals he can lay his hands upon, he is still tempted, in imitation of the pious Daniel, to quote Scripture: "But what are these among so many?"

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The pious Daniel! Was he really pious, some may ask, or only a canting hypocrite? How could a truly pious man have made so many enemies, obtained such a long-continued reputation as a consummate liar, proved himself such a political turncoat, acted as a secret agent for Harley under assumed names and with a multiplicity of pretexts for worming himself into the confidence of unsuspecting persons; how could he have supported in his "Review" causes in which he did not believe, and, worse still, have written his disingenuous "Appeal to Honor and Justice"; how could he then have accepted the office of a government spy under the ministers of George I and worked for years with the publishers of Jacobite newspapers, all the while informing on them. and endeavoring to take the venom out of their articles; how could he have done all this and yet have quoted Scripture continually and writ

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