Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/168

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

brought into the country being exhausted, he fell to borrowing from any one that would lend him half-a-crown, and ran in debt for his wigs, clothes, and lodging." Then when the Parliament ordered him to be taken into custody, and to be prosecuted, he very wisely fled the country, suffering only a temporary rebuff, and writing many other books, political and religious, none of which ever attained the distinction of his first

But it was in the struggle between the Church and Dissent that the party-spirit of Queen Anne's reign chiefly manifested itself in the burning of books. No one fought for the cause of Dissent with greater energy or greater personal loss than the famous Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe. It brought him to ruin, and one of his books to the hangman.

It would seem that his Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), which ironically advocated their extermination, was in answer to a sermon preached at Oxford by Sacheverell in June of the same year, called The Political Union wherein he alluded to a party against whom all friends of the Anglican Church "ought to hang out the bloody flag and banner of defiance." Defoe's pamphlet so exactly accorded with the sentiments of the