By Katherine Clark (auth.)
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Additional resources for Daniel Defoe: The Whole Frame of Nature, Time and Providence
This, and Travel, makes a True-bred Merchant the most Intelligent Man in the World, and consequently the most capable, when urg’d by Necessity, to Contrive New Ways to live. And from hence, I humbly conceive, may very properly be deriv’d the Projects, so much the Subject of the present Discourse. ’29 The chief cause of the general projecting frenzy of the age was sociological: it was the instinctive response of that very segment of English society both hardest hit by wartime losses and distinguished by its routine reliance upon the faculties of calculation and imagination.
62 In this context, Defoe’s perception that the civil war represented a profound divide took on a new dimension. His depiction of William as warrior king and patron of the military arts, his call to curb the truculence of the 28 Daniel Defoe landowning classes, and, as we shall see, his defence of the court’s desire to maintain a standing army all suggest that Defoe welcomed the growing monopolization of physical force by the state. Tamed and schooled as professional officers by a military academy, polished by a national academy for polite learning, England’s elite would be better equipped to lead the nation in a rapidly changing world.
V. ‘This pen and ink war’: Defoe and the standing army controversy By 1697 war weariness had made an early peace attractive to all combatants. Both William III and Louis XIV were reluctant to engage in another Establishing a Voice: Defoe’s First Steps 29 season of fighting. With English and Dutch public opinion urging a settlement and the increasing risk of minor allies forsaking the cause in pursuit of separate peace, as Savoy had done the year before, William III did not have much choice. 64 Envoys discussed terms and reached an agreement by September but the ink on the Treaty of Ryswick was hardly dry before English politicians and polemicists drew their own ideological battle lines over what to do about William’s forces.