[Manuscript] "Appeal to the Public for the descendents of De Foe" [Daniel Defoe]. With three MS. poems by Landor.

Walter Savage Landor, Author (1775-1864)
Walter Savage Landor, Author
Publication details: 
SKU: 9768

One page, 4to, tipped onto larger card, good condition. Forty-five lines excluding signature at base ("Walter Savage Landor"), text, worked over by Landor, as follows: The Public is informed that our gracious queen [sic], among her many acts of judicious beneficence, has granted a pension of 100£ a year to the lineal descendents, in the fourth degree, of Daniel De Foe. These are two aged women reduced to poverty and decrepitude. | While monuments and statues are created to unimportant and worthless men, and while painted windows take the place of missing saints and martyrs, no honours whatever [deletion]have been decreed to a [deletion] disinterested and energetic patriot, persecuted throughout life: such was Daniel De Foe. His vigorous [three words deleted] writings were auxiliary to William the Deliverer [underlined phrase] from whom he recieved [sic] and sought neither place nor pension, nor indeed any species of emolument. Writers who were educated in the same liberal principles were his bitterest enemies. Swift treated him with ridicule and sarcasm: Addison, from the redundant curls of his peruke, smiled silently and did not 'damn with /faint praise.' [New paragraph mark] When the history of the present reign shall be written impartially, and not composed of [deletion] paragraphs from pamphlets, articles from reviews, extraneous disquisitions, and dictated epigrams, one of the most attractive pages of the present reign will be that which records the pension granted, after a term of nearly two centuries, to the descendents of De Foe. How many brave spirits have risen from him! How many admirals, like Nelson, Sidney Smith, Cochrane, and Napier, may yet rise from the island of Robinson Crusoe. No book was ever so incentive to enterprise as this story. It is only in later life that we begin to doubt the reality of the actor and scene before us. Never did the modern or ancient so turn the ideal into the true. [New para mark] If every man [two words delted] whose boyhood had [deletions] been excited by the adventures of Robinson Crusoe, would contribute a half crown in addition [insertion] to the royal largess[sic], there would be sufficient to obviate the wants and to assuage the maladies [inserted phrase] of these two women, who in the course of nature soon must follow their [deletion] ancestor to his last and only true repose. || Walter Savage Landor." Another hand enters information about Landor below the signature. Note: Periodicals, the "New England historical and genealogical register", vol.12 !858) and the "Criterion" vol.1 (Nov.1855-Apr.1856) claim that Landor supported the case of James Defoe, appealing to schoolboys. The "Criterion" says that the two old female descendants (identified as the "Misses Lowe") were supported by others inc. Carlyle. This information conflicts with the contents of the appeal as above. Text of one of these versions (not seen) was published in "The Times", 5 Nov. 1855. Landor also published a poem about Defoe without whom, it seems, Rodney and Nelson would not have been possible. With three short poems mainly concerning literary giants in Landor's hand, on scraps of paper, some staining etc, tipped onto card as the above: "Milton in Italy", 8ll., one added word (as in the printed version ("Heroic Idylls", "Works and Life" (1876)), "O Milton! couldst thou rise again and see . . ."; "On the death of G.P.R. James at Venice", 16ll., one substitution by a phrase for a word (followed in the printed version in "Heroic Idylls") , "Where upon earth shall now be found | Fancy so bright . . ."; "Shakespeare in Italy, 8ll (as printed version, "Heroic Idylls")"Beyond our shores, past Alps and Appennines, |Shakespeare, from heaven came thy creative breath, | Mid citron groves . . .".