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proportion to their reach along the coast from north to south.
It was, however, understood, by a kind of tacit compact among the commercial powers, that possession of the coast included a right to the inland: and, therefore, the charters granted to the several colonies limit their districts only from north to south, leaving their possessions from east to west unlimited and discretional, supposing that as the colony increases, they may take lands as they shall want them, the possession of the coasts excluding other navigators, and the unhappy Indians having no right of nature or of nations.
This right of the first European possessor was not disputed till it became the interest of the French to question it, Canada, or New France, on which they made their first settlement, is situ. ated eastward of our colonies, between which they pass up the great river of St Lawrence, with News foundland on the north, and Nova Scotia on the south. Their establishment in this country was neither envied nor hindered; and they lived here, in no great numbers, a long time, neither molest. ing their European neighbours, nor molested by them.
But when they grew stronger and more numero ous, they began to extend their territories; and, as it is natural for men to seek their own convènience, the desire of more fertile and agreeable habitations tempted them southward. There is land enough to the north and west of their settlements, which they may occupy with as good right as can be shewn by the other European usurpers, and which neither the English nor Spaniards will con test; but of this cold region they have enough already, and their resolution was to get a better country. This was not to be had but by settling to the west of our plantations, on ground which has been hitherto supposed to belong to us.
Hither, therefore, they resolved to remove, and to fix, at their own discretion, the western border of our colonies, which was heretofore considered as unlimited. Thus by forming a line of forts, in some measure parallel to the coast, they inclose us between their garrisons and the sea, and not only hinder our extension westward, but, whenever they have a sufficient navy in the sea, can harass us on each side, as they can invade us at pleasure from one or other of their forts.
This design was not perhaps discovered as soon as it was formed, and was certainly not opposed 80 soon as it was discovered; we foolishly hoped, that their encroachments would stop, that they would be prevailed on by treaty and remonstrance, to give up what they had taken, or to put limits to themselves. We suffered them to establish one settlement after another, to pass boundary after boundary, and add fort to fort, till at last they grew strong enough to avow their designs, and defy us to obstruct them.
By these provocations long continued, we are at length forced into a war, in which we have had hitherto
very ill fortune. Our troops under Braddock were dishonourably defeated; our fleets have yet done nothing more than taken a few merchant
а ships, and have distressed some private families, but have
very little weakened the power of France. The detention of their seamen makes it indeed
easy for them to fit out their navy; but this deficiency will be easily supplied by the alacrity of the nation, which is always eager for war.
It is unpleasing to represent our affairs to our own disadvantage; yet it is necessary to shew the evils which we desire to be removed; and, therefore, some account may very properly be given of the measures which have given them their present şuperiority.
They are said to be supplied from France with better governors than our colonies have the fate to obtain from England. A French governor is seldom chosen for any other reason than his qualifications for his trust. To be a bankrupt at home, 'or to be so infamously vicious that he cannot be decently protected in his own country, seldom recommends any man to the government of a French colony. Their officers are commonly skilful either in war or commerce, and are taught to have no expectation of honour or preferment, but from the justice and vigour of their administration.
Their great security is the friendship of the natives, and to this advantage they have certainly an indubitable right; because it is the consequence of their virtue. It is ridiculous to imagine, that the friendship of nations, whether civil or barbarous, can be gained and kept but by kind treatment; and surely they who intrude, uncalled, upon the country of a distant people, ought to consider the natives as worthy of common kindness, and content themselves to rob without insulting them. The French, as has been already observed, admit the Indians, by intermarriage, to an equality with themselves; and those nations, with which they have no such near intercourse, they gain over to their interest by honesty in their dealings. Our factors and traders, having no other purpose in view than immediate profit, use all the arts of an European counting-house, to defraud the simple hunter of his furs.
These are some of the causes of our present weak. ness; our planters are always quarrelling with their governor, whom they consider as less to be trust. ed than the French; and our traders hourly alienate the Indians by their tricks and oppressions, and we continue every day to shew by new proofs, that no people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.
THE COURT OF AUGUSTUS.
BY THOMAS BLACKWELL, J. U. D.
Principal of Marishal-College in the University of Aberdeen.
THE first effect which this book has upon the reader is that of disgusting him with the author's vanity. He endeavours to persuade the world, that here are some new treasures of literature spread before his eyes ; that something is discovered, which to this happy day had been concealed in darkness ; that by his diligence time had been robbed of some valuable monument which he was on the point of devouring ; and that names and facts doomed to oblivion are now restored to fame.
How must the unlearned reader be surprised, when he shall be told that Mr Blackwell has neither digged in the ruins of any demolished city, nor found out the way to the library of Fez; nor had a single book in his hands, that has not been in the possession of every man that was inclined to read it, for years and ages; and that his book relates to a people who above all others have fur