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Mag. [ 145 j
To the Authors of the British Magazine.
Gentlemen, nations, whose force and steel she
XIT'Hoever reflects attentively upon was not able to withstand.
the nature of commerce will be Its wealth drew the first sons of convinced that ir is coeval wiih hu- fame into those countries which lie man society, to whose wants and im- beneath the rising fun. Bacchus, becilliries it owes its being. In pro- or Dionysius, the first of cenqueportion as societies increased, and rors, and of legislators, has the Ibres were formed, traffic, which in glory of having penetrated before the first ages supplied the necessities all others into India, and to have of lise, was employed to feed that subdued and given laws to this emloxury which the common prospe- pire. It was the fame of their rity had begotten. Private gain was riches, and the charms of gold, ever the first motive to the mercantile a powerful motive to a female heart, fife. But experience, the parent of. which allured that celebrated wowifdom, having (hewn that wealth man who sivayed the Aflyrian scepand treasure contributed, in a sur- ter, to attempt the conquest of the prising -manner, to the glory and Indies. Hercules, the model of hepower of nations, states, and princes, roism, exercised his valour on this warmed by the love of their people, theatre: and Sesostris, whose fame or fired by their private ambition, has almost made all the other kings turned to the public advantage that of the Egyptians forgotten, visited endless thirst of gold which agitates those countries, as far as that lea the heart of man. Thus they, by which washes the shores of Japan, wife institutions, promoting industry Arabia, a country barren ofeven the ind arts, acquired infinite wealth; necessaries of life, is said to have and the sovereignty of the ocean acquired such immense wealth in gave them to protect their allies, and this traffic as gained her the title to restrain the boundless ambition of the Happy; and the Ethiopians, of their enemies. barbarous as they were, perceived Never was there a more abundant the advantage of discovering the source of wealth than the traffic of Indies; for an expedition is menthe Indies ; -for nature has not on- tioned which that people made into ly bestowed the necessaries of life on the Eastern world, the particulars those happy regions in the most whereof time has consumed. There plentiful manner, but has also over- are no monuments of an established flowed this tract with such a profu- maritime trade of greater antiquity, sion of delights, unknown to other than that which the Egyptians and climes, as fills us with wonder and Phenicians carried on to those parts, astonishment; as if by the alluring chiefly these latter, the most ancient delicacies of Asia, she had intended body oftraders that exist in the annals to tame and mollify the rugged sons of human affairs. These illustrious of the North; and that the East, by merchants, together with the Egypher blandishments, should have tians, possessed at once the trade of wherewith to avenge herself of those Europe, of Asia, and of Africa, that March, 1764. 3 ■ it
1^.6 Remarks en the ori±
is to fay, of all the known world, exclusive of all others: exchanging the rich commodities of the Indies, to which they were the sole navigators, for those of the North and West. Solomon, the wisest of all the sons of men, esteemed this traffic next to the favour of the God of ■Wisdom, the brightest gem in his diadem; and drew such immense treasures from the oriental commerce, as rendered his nation and government the admiration of the most distant kingdoms. Under the empire of the Persians, the Phenicians conducted their trading fleets into the Eastern ocean: and when the despotic government of that people had chaced commerce frorri Phenicia, Alexandria became then the mart and emporium of all the Indian merchandize. Alexander, the Conqueror of Asia, in founding this city, intended to establish this commerce; a project, after the conquest of the world, still worthy of Alexander. The Ptolemies, his successors in the Egyptian monarchy, reaped the fruits of a design, which adds so much to the glory of that heroic prince; and the wealth which this commerce poured into Egypt, and which by means of this city it continued for ages after, at once the cause of its prosperity and ruin, drew thither the Romans, ambitious to possess, which brought along with it so much treasure, and so vast a maritime power.
We may judge how dearly the ancients valued this traffic, from the labour they* used to seize it, and to deter or hinder all other nations from attempting it. The Romans were told by the Arabians, that these precious commodities were no where to be found except in fruitful
inal if Commerce. British
places, guarded by hi.ieous dragons, and other monsters of terrifying forms. The love of gold triumphed over their fears: for Augustus, who founded the imperial power at Rome, had resolved upon the conquest of the Arabian peninsula; partly, because it would infallibly open to him all the,oriental commerce; and also suppress the pirates, who, from the Asiatic side of the Red-sea, infested the Roman navigation. His attempt sailed, as did several other weak efforts, in a state very little favourable to trade or discoveries; that of the Roman republic changed into a military and despotic government. Titus and Vespasian had no better success. Their last effort was that of Trojan, whose s.le motive was to possess himself of the riches of the Indies with which Arabia then abounded.
After Constantine had translated the seat of the empire to Byzantium, the Eastern-trade still subsisted. Alexandria continued to be the principal emporium, Seleucia of Syria was the route of the more inland commerce; and the barbarians that dwelt on the bleak borders of the Euxine, felt the charms of the wealth which the East poured into the Greek empire through this sea.
At last, this commerce shared the fate of the provinces through which it flowed. The military genius of the Arab princes, the successors of Mahoumcd, extinguished for some time the spirit of traffic. Fury and barbarity seemed to be let loose, to lay waste and confound every thing upon the face of the earth. No sooner had the grandson os that monarch, who tore Afric from she descendants of Mahommed, sounded Cairo, and protected merchants,
Ma;. O/JJairs as the East Indies. 147
then did (he rich flow of eastern with a view, we believe, to set col. wealth return to its ancient chan- Caillaud's services in India in a }utt eel; and the new builr city become light; which some circumstances renir once the chief mart of the western dered then necessary. It assigns the *or!d, and the feat of a new em- reasons for deposing lord Olive's Naprf. bob, as are given hy Mr. Holwell.
The Venetians and Genoese raised Mr. Caillaud commanded the comthemselves on the ruins of the pany's troops that were employed Greek empire; and profiting by the by Mr. Vansirtart when that Nagtncral confusion, seized part of its bob was removed; and a detail is dismembered dominions. They sue- here given of what passed on that ettded at the same to the trade of occasion, the |ndi;s, the commodities whereof
they distributed all over the North, The Supplement to the Narrative os •n infinite sourre of wealth and ivbat passed in Bengal in 1760, disposer to those states. covers more of the late transaction* Whilst these possessed the wealth than any piece that has yet appearofihis traffic in Europe, the Arabians ed: nevertheless, it supposes the »ere the sole merchants in the com- reader to be acquainted with things modifies of the East, This was the which he has had no opportunity of fifaaiion of the Eastern commerce, learning from the public papers. It "hen the Poruguese nation discover- will easily appear on which side it is tda new route in the Indies through written.
tbt ocean, which gave them the sole "Let us now (fays the author) possession of the riches of the East candidly reflect on the condition of for ages afterwards. the company's trade in India, the
I was persuaded those few re- original of its establishment, and the marks on the original of commerce limits of its warrantable exercise (for in general, and that carried on in it never was unbounded) and the the eastern parts of the globe, could encroachments made by the comnot be improperly placed at the head pany's servants, which must ever be of an account of the changes and distinguished from the rights of the disturbances that have lately hap- company, that were acquired by ptnedin the East Indies, and publish- purchase.
ed by persons nearly interested in "The freedom of importing and these transactions, and consequently exporting, clear of duties, was purcapable of relating the whole with chafed by the company from the accuracy and precision. Mogul: care was at the fame time
taken to prevent the country-«overnNew Publications relative to the ment f,om bei"g injured by frauds East-Indies. anc* ^e pretences of the company's
servants; repeated instructions have
THE Narrative csivbat bapened been sent to the servants of the in Bengal in 1760, is a re- company, to avoid every occasion of publication of a small piece printed umbrage, to restrain them'elves about two or three years ago. It within the bounds of their phir*»$ not exposed to sale, but put in- maund (or grant) and not to comto the hands of particular persons, municate their privileges, or afford
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