ページの画像
PDF
ePub

very well able to discern the true interest of ney, which gave occasion to the civil war, of himself, his kingdom, and his posterity, but sa- which the events and conclusion are too well crificed it, upon all occasions, to his present known. pleasure or his present ease; so conscious of his While the inhabitants of this island were emown knowledge and abilities, that he would not broiled among themselves, the power of France suffer a minister to govern, and so lax of atten- and Holland was every day increasing. The tion, and timorous of opposition, that he was not Dutch had overcome the difficulties of their in. able to govern for himself. With this character fant commonwealth ; and, as they still retained James quietly saw the Dutch invade our com- their vigour and industry, from rich grew conmerce ; the French grew every day stronger and tinually richer, and from powerful more powerstronger; and the Protestant interest, of which ful. They extended their traffic, and had not he boasted himself the head, was oppressed on yet admitted luxury; so that they had the every side, while he writ, and hunted, and des- means and the will to accumulate wealth withpatched ambassadors, who, when their master's out any incitement to spend it. The French, weakness was once known, were treated in fo- who wanted nothing to make them powerful, reign courts with very little ceremony. James, but a prudent regulation of their revenues, and however, took care to be flattered at home, and a proper use of their natural advantages, by the was neither angry nor ashamed at the appear- successive care of skilful ministers, becama ance that he made in other countries.

every day stronger, and more conscious of their Thus England grew weaker, or, what is in strength. political estimation the same thing, saw her About this time it was, that the French first neighbours grow stronger, without receiving began to turn their thoughts to traffic and naproportionable additions to her own power. vigation, and to desire, like other nations, an Not that the mischief was so great as it is ge- American territory. All the fruitful and valunerally conceived or represented; for, I believe, able parts of the western world were already it may be made to appear, that the wealth of either occupied or claimed, and nothing rethe nation was, in this reign, very much in- mained for France but the leavings of other nacreased, though that of the crown was lessened. vigators, for she was not yet haughty enough Our reputation for war was impaired: but to seize what the neighbouring powers had alcommerce seems to have been carried on with ready appropriated. great industry and vigour, and nothing was The French therefore contented themselves wanting, but that we should have defended with sending a colony to Canada, a cold uncomourselves from the incroachments of our neigh- fortable uninviting region, from which nothing bours.

but furs and fish were to be had, and where The inclination to plant colonies in America the new inhabitants could only pass a laborious still continued, and this being the only project and necessitous life, in perpetual regret of the in which men of adventure and enterprise could deliciousness and plenty of their native country. exert their qualities in a pacific reign, multi- Notwithstanding the opinion which our countudes, who were discontented with their condi- trymen have been taught to entertain of the tion in their native country, and such multitudes comprehension and foresight of French politithere will always be, sought relief, or at least a cians, I am not able to persuade myself, that change in the western regions, where they set when this colony was first planted, it was tled in the northern part of the continent, at a thought of much value, even by those that endistance from the Spaniards, at that time almost couraged it; there was probably nothing more the only nation that had any power or will to intended than to provide a drain into which the obstruct us.

waste of an exuberant nation might be thrown, a Such was the condition of this country when place where those who could do no good might the unhappy Charles inherited the crown. He live without the power of doing mischief. had seen the errors of his father, without being | Some new advantage they undoubtedly saw, or able to prevent them, and, when he began his imagined themselves to see, and what more was reign, endeavoured to raise the nation to its for- necessary to the establishment of the colony mer dignity. The French Papists had begun a was supplied by natural inclination to experinew war upon the Protestants : Charles sent a ments, and that impatience of doing nothing, fleet to invade Rhée and relieve Rochelle, but to which mankind perhaps owe much of what his attempts were defeated, and the Protestants is imagined to be effected by more splendid were subdued.

The Dutch, grown wealthy and motives. strong, claimed the right of fishing in the British In this region of desolate sterility they settled soas: this claim the king, who saw the increase themselves, upon whatever principle; and as ing power of the states of Holland, resolved to they have from that time bad the happiness of contest. But for this end it was necessary to a government by which no interest has been build a feet, and a fleet could not be built with neglected, nor any part of their subjects overout expense: he was advised to levy ship-mo- | looked, they have, by continual encouragement

and assistance from France, been perpetually been the last power in Europe which had openly ensarging their bounds and increasing their pretended to give law to other nations, and the numbers.

memory of this terror remained when the real These were at first, like other nations who in- cause was at an end.

We had more lately vaded America, inclined to consider the neigh- been frighted by Spain than by France, and bourhood of the natives as troublesome and dan- though very few were then alive of the generagerous, and are charged with having destroyed tion that had their sleep broken by the Armada, great numbers: but they are now grown wiser, yet the name of the Spaniards was still terrible, if not honester, and instead of endeavouring to and a war against them was pleasing to the frighten the Indians away, they invite them to people. intermarriage and cohabitation, and allure them Our own troubles had left us very little desire by all practicable methods to become the sub- to look out upon the continent, and inveterate jects of the king of France.

prejudice hindered us from perceiving, that for If the Spaniards, when they first took posses- more than half a century the power of France sion of the newly-discovered world, instead of had been increasing, and that of Spaip bad been destroying the inhabitants by thousands, had growing less; nor does it seem to bave been reeither had the urbanity or the policy to have membered, which yet required no great depth of conciliated them by kind treatment, and to have policy to discern, that of two monarchs, neither united them gradually to their own people, such of which could be long our friends, it was our an accession might have been made to the power interest to have the weaker Dear us; or that of the king of Spain, as would have made him if a war should happen, Spain, however wealthy far the greatest monarch that ever yet ruled in or strong in herself, was by the dispersion of the globe; but the opportunity was lost by fool. her territories more obnoxions to the attacks of ishness and cruelty, and now can never be a naval power, and consequently bad more to recovered.

fear from us, and had it less in her power to When the parliament had finally prevailed hurt us. over our king, and the army over the parliament, All these considerations were overlooked by the interest of the two commonwealths of Eng- the wisdom of that age, and Cromwell assisted land and Holland soon appeared to be opposite, the French to drive the Spaniards out of Flanand a new government declared war against the ders, at a time when it was our interest to have Dutch. In this contest was exerted the utmost supported the Spaniards against France, as forpower of the two nations, and the Dutch were merly the Hollanders against Spain, by which finally defeated, yet not with such evidence of we might at least retard the growth of the superiority as left us much reason to boast our French power, though, I think, it must have victory: they were obliged however to solicit finally prevailed. peace, which was granted them on easy condi- During this time our colonies, which were tions: and Cromwell, who was now possessed of less disturbed by our commotions than the mothe supreme power, was left at leisure to pursue ther.country, naturally increased; it is proother designs.

bable that many who were unhappy at home The European powers had not yet ceased to took shelter in those remote regions, where, look with envy on the Spanish acquisitions in for the sake of inviting greater numbers, every America, and therefore Cromwell thought, that one was allowed to think and live his own way. if he gained any part of these celebrated regions, | The French settlement in the mean time went he should exalt his own reputation and enrich | slowly forward, too inconsiderable to raise any the country. He therefore quarrelled with the jealousy, and too weak to attempt any encroachSpaniards upon some such subject of contention ments. as he that is resolved upon hostility may always When Cromwell died, the confusions that find, and sent Penn and Venables into the followed produced the restoration of monarchy, western seas. They first landed in Hispaniola, and some time was employed in repairing the whence they were driven off with no great repu- ruins of our constitution, and restoring the natation to themselves; and that they might not tion to a state of peace. In every change there return without having done something, they af- will be many that suffer real or imaginary grievterwards invaded Jamaica, where they found ances, and therefore many will be dissatisfied. less resistance, and obtained that island, which This was, perhaps, the reason why several colowas afterwards consigned to us, being probably nies had their beginning in the reign of Charles of little value to the Spaniards, and continues the Second. The Quakers willingly sought reto this day a place of great wealth and dreadful fuge in Pennsylvania ; and it is not unlikely wickedness, a den of tyrants, and a dungeon of that Carolina owed its inhabitants to the remains slaves.

of that restless disposition, which bas given so Cromwell, who perhaps had not leisure to much disturbance to our country, and had now study foreign politics, was very fatally mistaken no opportunity of acting at home. with regard to Spain and France. Spain had The Dutch still continuing to increase in

wealth and power, either kindled the resentment | arms were dreaded, and her pensions received of their neighbours by their insolence, or raised in remote regions, and those were almost ready their envy by their prosperity. Charles made to acknowledge her sovereignty, who, a few war upon them without much advantage; but years before, had scarcely heard her name. She they were obliged at last to confess him the thundered on the coasts of Africa, and received sovereign of the narrow seas. They were re- ambassadors from Siam. duced almost to extremities by an invasion from So much may be done by one wise man enFrance; but soon recovered from their conster- deavouring with honesty the advantage of the nation, and, by the fluctuation of war, regained public. But that we may not rashly condemn their cities and provinces with the same speed all ministers as wanting wisdom or integrity as they had lost them.

whose counsels have produced no such apparent During the tíme of Charles the Second the benefits to their country, it must be considered, power of France was every day increasing; and that Colbert had means of acting, which our Charles, who never disturbed himself with re- government does not allow. He could enforce mote consequences, saw the progress of her arms, all his orders by the power of an absolute monand the extension of her dominions, with very arch; he could compel individuals to sacrifice little uneasiness. He was indeed sometimes their private profit to the general good; he could driven by the prevailing faction into confedera- make one understanding preside over many cies against her: but as he had, probably, a hands, and remove difficulties by quick and viosecret partiality in her favour, he never perse- lent expedients. Where no man thinks himself vered long in acting against her, nor ever acted under any obligation to submit to another, and, with much vigour: so that, by his feeble resist- instead of co-operating in one great schemo, ance, he rather raised her confidence than hin- every one hastens through bye-paths to private dered her designs.

profit, no great change can suddenly be made ; About this time the French first began to per- nor is superior knowledge of much effect, wbere ceive the advantage of commerce, and the im- every man resolves to use his own eyes and his portance of a naval force; and such encourage- own judgment, and every one applauds his own ment was given to manufactures, and so eagerly dexterity and diligence, in proportion as he bewas every project received by which trade could comes rich sooner than his neighbour. be advanced, that, in a few years, the sea was Colonies are always the effects and causes of filled with their ships, and all the ports of the navigation. They who visit many countries, world crowded with their merchants. There find some in which pleasure, profit, or safety is, perhaps, no instance in human story of such invite them to settle ; and these settlements, a change produced in so short a time in the when they are once made, must keep a perpetual schemes and manners of a people, of so many correspondence with the original country to new sources of wealth opened, and such num- which they are subject, and on which they debers of artificers and merchants made to start pend for protection in danger, and supplies in out of the ground, as was seen in the ministry necessity. So that a country once discovered of Colbert.

and planted, must always find employment for Now it was that the power of France became shipping, more certainly than any foreign comformidable to England. Her dominions were merce, which, depending on casualties, may be large before, and her armies numerous; but her sometimes more and sometimes less, and which operations were necessarily confined to the con- other nations may contract or suppress. А tinent. She had neither ships for the trans- trade to colonies can never be much impaired, portation of her troops, nor money for their being, in reality, only an intercourse between support in distant expeditions. Colbert saw distant provinces of the same empire, from which both these wants, and saw that commerce only intruders are easily excluded; likewise the inwould supply them. The fertility of their coun- terest and affection of the correspondent parties, try furnishes the French with commodities; however distant, is the same. the poverty of the common people keeps the On this reason all nations, whose power has price of labour low. By the obvious practice of been exerted on the ocean, have fixed colonies selling much and buying little, it was apparent in remote parts of the world; and while those that they would soon draw the wealth of other colonies subsisted, navigation, if it did not in. countries into their own; and, by carrying out crease, was always preserved from total decay. their merchandize in their own vessels, a nu- With this policy the French were well acquaintmerous body of sailors would quickly be raised.ed, and therefore improved and augmented the

This was projected, and this was performed. settlements in America, and other regions, in The king of France was soon enabled to bribe proportion as they advanced their schemes of those whom he could not conquer, and to ter- naval greatness. rify with his fleets those whom his arınies could The exact time in which they rrade their acnot have approached. The influence of France quisitions in America, or other quarters of the was suddenly diffused all over the globe; her globe, it is not necessary to collect. It is sufficient to observe, that their trade and their colo- In this reign began our confederacy with the nies increased together : and, if their naval ar. Dutch, which mutual interest has now improved maments were carried on, as they really were, in into a friendship, conceived by some to be insegreater proportion to their commerce, than can parable; and from that time the States began to be practised in other countries, it must be attri. be termed, in the style of politicians, our faithbuted to the martial disposition at that time pre-ful friends, the allies which Nature has given vailing in the nation, to the frequent wars which us, our Protestant confederates, and by many Lewis the Fourteenth made upon his neigh-other names of national endearment. We have, bours, and to the extensive commerce of the it is true, the same interest, as opposed to English and Dutch, which afforded so much France, and some resemblance of religion, as plunder to privateers, that war was more lu- opposed to popery; but we have such a rivalry, crative than traffic.

in respect of commerce, as will always keep us Thus the naval power of France continued to from very close adherence to each other. No increase during the reign of Charles the Second, mercantile man, or mercantile nation, has any who, between his fondness of ease and pleasure, friendship but for money, and alliance between the struggles of faction which he could not sup- them will last no longer than their common press, and his inclination to the friendship of safety or common profit is endangered; absolute monarchy, had not much power or de- longer than they have an enemy, who threatens sire to repress it. And of James the Second, it to take from each more than either can steal could not be expected that he should act against from the other. his neighbours with great vigour, having the We were both sufficiently interested in rewhole body of his subjects to oppose. lle was pressing the ambition, and obstructing the comnot ignorant of the real interest of his country; merce of France; and therefore we concurred he desired its power and its happiness, and with as much fidelity and as regular co-operation thought rightly, that there is no happiness with- as is commonly found. The Dutch were in imout religion ; but he thought very erroneously mediate danger, the armies of their enemies hoand absurdly, that there is no religion without vered over their country, and therefore they popery. .

were obliged to dismiss for a time their love of When the necessity of self-preservation had money, and their narrow projects of private impelled the subjects of James to drive him from profit, and to do what a trader does not willingly the throne, there came a time in which the pas- at any time believe necessary, to sacrifice a part sions, as well as interest, of the government, for the preservation of the whole. acted against the French, and in which it may A peace was at length made, and the French, perbaps be reasonably doubted, whether the de- with their usual vigour and industry, rebuilt sire of humbling France was not stronger than their fleets, restored their commerce, and be that of exalting England: of this, however, it came in a very few years able to contest again is not necessary to inquire, since, though the in- the dominion of the sea. Their ships were tention may be different, the event will be the well-built, and always very numerously marsame. All mouths were now open to declare ned; their commanders, having no hopes but what every eye had observed before, that the from their bravery or their fortune, were resa arms of France were become dangerous to lute, and being very carefully educated for the Europe ; and that, if her encroachments were sea, were eminently skilful. suffered a little longer, resistance would be too All this was soon perceived when Queen late.

Anne, the then darling of England, declared It was now determined to re-assert the empire war against France. Our success by sea, though of the sea; but it was more easily determined sufficient to keep us from dejection, was not than performed : the French made a vigorous such as dejected our enemies. It is, indeed, to defence against the united power of England be confessed, that we did not exert our whole and Holland, and were sometimes masters of the naval strength; Marlborough was the governor ocean, though the two maritime powers were of our counsels, and the great view of Marlbounited against them. At length, however, they rough was a war by land, which he knew well were defeated at La Hogue; a great part of their how to conduct, both to the honour of his counfleet was destroyed, and they were reduced to try, and his own profit. The fleet was therefore carry on the war only with their privateers, from starved that the army might be supplied, and whom there was suffered much petty mischief, naval advantages were neglected for the sake of though there was no danger of conquest or in- taking a town in Flanders, to be garrisoned by vasion. They distressed our merchants, and

our allies.

The French, however, were so obliged us to the continual expense of convoys weakened by one defeat after another, that, and fleets of observation ; and, by skulking in though their fleet was never destroyed by any little coves and shallow waters, escaped our total overthrow, they at last retained it in their pursuit.

harbours, and applied their whole force to the resistance of the confederate army, that now | curiosity, Henry the Seventh sent Sebastian began to approach their frontiers, and threaten- Cabot to try what could be found for the benefit ed to lay waste their provinces and cities. of England: he declined the track of Columbus,

In the latter years of this war, the danger of and steering to the westward, fell upon the their neighbourhood in America seems to have island, which, from that time, was called by the been considered, and a fleet was fitted out and English, Newfoundland. Our princes seem to supplied with a proper number of land forces to have considered themselves as entitled by their seize Quebec, the capital of Canada, or New right of prior seizure to the northern parts of France; but this expedition miscarried, like that America, as the Spaniards were allowed by of Anson against the Spaniards, by the lateness universal consent their claim to the southern of the season, and our ignorance of the coasts region for the same reason; and we accordingly on which we were to act. We returned with made our principal settlements within the limits loss, and only excited our enemies to greater of our own discoveries, and, by degrees, plantvigilance, and perhaps to stronger fortifications. ed the eastern coast from Newfoundland to

When the peace of Utrecht was made, which Georgia. those who clamoured among us most loudly As we had, according to the European prinagainst it, found it their interest to keep, the ciples, which allow nothing to the natives of French applied themselves with the utmost in these regions, our choice of situation in this exdustry to the extension of their trade, which we tensive country, we naturally fixed our habitawere so far from hindering, that for many years tions along the coast, for the sake of traffic and vur ministry thought their friendship of such correspondence, and all the conveniences of navalue, as to be cheaply purchased by whatever vigable rivers. And when one port or river was concession.

occupied, the next colony, instead of fixing Instead therefore of opposing, as we had themselves in the inland parts behind the former, hitherto professed to do, the boundless ambition went on southward, till they pleased themselves of the House of Bourbon, we became on a with another maritime situation. For this reasudden solicitous for its exaltation, and studious son our colonies have more length than depth; of its interest. We assisted the schemes of their extent from east to west, or from the sea France and Spain with our fleets, and endea- to the interior country, bears no proportion to voured to make those our friends by servility, their reach along the coast from north to south. whom nothing but power will keep quiet, and It was, however, understood, by a kind of who must always be our enemies wbile they are tacit compact among the commercial powers, endeavouring to grow greater, and we determine that possession of the coast included a right to to remain free.

the inland : and, therefore, the charters granted That nothing might be omitted which could to the several colonies limit their districts only testify our willingness to continue on any terms from north to south, leaving their possessions the good friends of France, we were content to from east to west unlimited and discretional, assist not only their conquests but their traffic; supposing that, as the colony increases, they and though we did not openly repeal the prohi. may take lands as they shall want them, the bitory laws, we yet tamely suffered commerce to possession of the coasts excluding other navigabe carried on between the two nations, and wool tors, and the unbappy Indians having no right was daily imported, to enable them to make of nature or of nations. cloth, which they carried to our markets and This right of the first European possessor sold cheaper than we.

was not disputed till it became the interest of During all this time, they were extending and the French to question it. Canada, or New strengthening their settlements in America, France, on which they made their first settlecontriving new modes of traffic, and framing ment, is situated eastward of our colonies, benew alliances with the Indian nations. They tween wbich they pass up the great river of St. began now to find these northern regions, barren Lawrence, with Newfoundland on the north, and desolate as they are, sufficiently valuable to and Nova Scotia on the south. Their establishdesire at least a nominal possession, that might ment in this country was neither envied nor furnish a pretence for the exclusion of others; hindered ; and they lived here, in no great numthey therefore extended their claim to tracts of bers, a long time, neither molesting their Euroland, which they could never hope to occupy, pean neighbours, nor molested by them. took care to give their dominions an unlimited But when they grew stronger and more numagnitude, have given in their maps the name merous, they began to extend their territories ;' of Louisiana to a country, of which part is and as it is natural for men to seek their own claimed by the Spaniards, and part by the Eng- convenience, the desire of more fertile and Jish, without any regard to ancient boundaries, agreeable habitations tempted them southward. or prior discovery.

There is land enough to the north and west of When the return of Columbus from his great their settlements, which they may occupy with voyage had filled all Europe with wonder and as good right as can be shown by the other

« 前へ次へ »