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By Katherine Clark (auth.)

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While making no mention of potential disciplinary problems among the young cadets of three of the colleges, he itemized specific articles of behaviour for the college reserved for gentlemen students. They must abide by all rules of residency and leave and ‘perform all the College-Exercises … without dispute’. 61 These rules suggest Defoe’s concern to build up a proficient corps of gentlemen officers without capitulating to their robust and impolite independence or to their traditional codes of honour.

William III: patron of military science As Defoe firmly believed and the court sought to advertise, it was William’s military as well as his moral leadership which qualified him to assume the mantle of Davidic kingship. Particularly at the beginning of the war, as campaigns in Ireland demonstrated, William’s own military credentials contrasted starkly with those of his new subjects. England’s long peace had come at the cost of not acquiring experienced officers and soldiers. 26 Daniel Defoe Defending William from criticism that he had favoured foreign officers and engineers, Defoe explained that when he ‘took Possession of this Kingdom, and … began to regulate his Army, he found but very few among the whole Martial Part of the Nation fit to make use of for General Officers’.

In the months that followed the publication of his Essay upon Projects, however, he would discover the tenacity of certain ideological traditions in the face of historical change. 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.

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