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Dickory Cronke Daniel Defoe

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16. 1728 will be a year of inquiry and retrospection. Many exorbitant grants will be reassumed, and several persons who thought themselves secure will be called before the senate, and compelled to disgorge what they have unjustly pillaged either from the crown or the public.

17. About this time a new scaffold will be erected upon the confines of a certain great city, where an old count of a new extraction, that has been of all parties and true to none, will be doomed by his peers to make his first appearance. After this an old lady who has often been exposed to danger and disgrace, and sometimes brought to the very brink of destruction, will be brought to bed of three daughters at once, which they shall call Plenty, Peace, and Union; and these three shall live and grow up together, be the glory of their mother, and the comfort of posterity for many generations.

This is the substance of what he either writ or extracted from his papers in the interval between the loss of his speech and the return of his fit, which happened exactly at the time he had computed.

Upon the approach of his fit, he made signs to be put to bed, which was no sooner done but he was seized with extreme agonies, which he bore up under with the greatest steadfastness, and after a severe conflict, that lasted near eight hours, he expired.

Thus lived and thus died this extraordinary person; a person, though of mean extraction and obscure life, yet when his character comes to be fully and truly known, it will be read with pleasure, profit, and admiration.

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His perfections at large would be the work of a volume, and inconsistent with the intention of these papers. I will, therefore, only add, for a conclusion, that he was a man of uncommon thought and judgment, and always kept his appetites and inclinations within their just limits.

His reason was strong and manly, his understanding sound and active, and his temper so easy, equal, and complaisant, that he never fell out, either with men or accidents. He bore all things with the highest affability, and computed justly upon their value and consequence, and then applied them to their proper uses.


Being informed that you speedily intend to publish some memoirs relating to our dumb countryman, Dickory Cronke, I send you herewith a few lines, in the nature of an elegy, which I leave you to dispose of as you think fit. I knew and admired the man; and if I were capable, his character should be the first thing I would attempt.

Yours. &c.

An Elegy,
In Memory Of Dickory Cronke,
The Dumb Philosopher.

Vitiis nemo sine nascitur; optimus ille est,
Qui minimus urgetur.--HORACE.

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Dickory Cronke
Daniel Defoe

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