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being very carefully educated for the sea, were | furnish a pretence for the exclusion of others; eminently skilful.
All this was soon perceived when Queen Anne, the then darling of England, declared war against France. Our success by sea, though sufficient to keep us from dejection, was not such as dejected our enemies. It is, indeed, to be confessed, that we did not exert our whole naval strength; Marlborough was the governor of our counsels, and the great view of Marlborough was a war by land, which he knew well how to conduct, both to the honour of his country, and his own profit. The fleet was therefore starved that the army might be supplied, and naval advantages were neglected for the sake of taking a town in Flanders, to be garrisoned by our allies. The French, however, were so weakened by one defeat after another, that, though their fleet was never destroyed by any total overthrow, they at last retained it in their harbours, and applied their whole force to the resistance of the confederate army, that now began to approach their frontiers, and threatened to lay waste their provinces and cities.
In the latter years of this war, the danger of their neighbourhood in America seems to have been considered, and a fleet was fitted out and supplied with a proper number of land forces to seize Quebec, the capital of Canada, or New France; but this expedition miscarried, like that of Anson against the Spaniards, by the lateness of the season, and our ignorance of the coasts on which we were to act. We returned with loss, and only excited our enemies to greater vigilance, and perhaps to stronger fortifications.
When the peace of Utrecht was made, which those who clamoured among us most loudly against it found it their interest to keep, the French applied themselves with the utmost industry to the extension of their trade, which we were so far from hindering, that for many years our ministry thought their friendship of such value, as to be cheaply purchased by whatever
they therefore extended their claim to tracts of land, which they could never hope to occupy, took care to give their dominions an unlimited magnitude, have given in their maps the name of Louisiana to a country, of which part is claimed by the Spaniards, and part by the English, without any regard to ancient boundaries, or prior discovery.
When the return of Columbus from his great voyage had filled all Europe with wonder and curiosity, Henry the Seventh sent Sebastian Cabot to try what could be found for the benefit of England: he declined the tract of Columbus, and steering to the westward, fell upon the island, which, from that time, was called by the English, Newfoundland. Our princes seem to have considered themselves as entitled by their right of prior seizure to the northern parts America, as the Spaniards were allowed by universal consent their claim to the southern region for the same reason; and we accordingly made our principal settlements within the limits of our own discoveries, and, by degrees, planted the eastern coast from Newfoundland to Georgia.
As we had, according to the European principles, which allow nothing to the natives of these regions, our choice of situation in this extensive country, we naturally fixed our habita tions along the coast, for the sake of traffic and correspondence, and all the conveniences of na vigable rivers. And when one port or river was occupied, the next colony, instead of fixing themselves in the inland parts behind the former, went on southward, till they pleased themselves with another maritime situation. For this reason our colonies have more length than depth; their extent from east to west, or from the sea to the interior country, bears no 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 Instead therefore of opposing, as we had to the several colonies limit their districts only hitherto professed to do, the boundless ambition from north to south, leaving their possessions of the House of Bourbon, we became on a sud- from east to west unlimited and discretional, den solicitous for its exaltation, and studious of supposing that, as the colony increases, they its interest. We assisted the schemes of France may take lands as they shall want them, the and Spain with our fleets, and endeavoured to possession of the coasts excluding other naviga make those our friends by servility, whom no-tors, and the unhappy Indians having no right of thing but power will keep quiet, and who must nature or of nations. always be our enemies while they are endeavouring to grow greater, and we determine to remain free.
That nothing might be omitted which could testify our willingness to continue on any terms the good friends of France, we were content to assist not only their conquests but their traffic; and though we did not openly repeal the prohibitory laws, we yet tamely suffered commerce to be carried on between the two nations, and wool was daily imported, to enable them to make cloth, which they carried to our markets and sold cheaper than we.
During all this time, they were extending and strengthening their settlements in America, contriving new modes of traffic, and framing new alliances with the Indian nations. They began now to find these northern regions, barren and desolate as they are, sufficiently valuable to deaire at least a nominal possession, that might
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 situated eastward of our colonies, between which they pass up the great river of St. Lawrence, with Newfoundland 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 molesting their European neighbours, nor molested by them.
But when they grew stronger and more numerous, they began to extend their territories; and as it is natural for men to seek their own convenience, 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 shown by the other European
usurpers, and which neither the English nor termarriage, to an equality with themselves; Spaniards will contest; but of this cold region and those nations, with which they have no such they have enough already, and their resolution near intercourse, they gain over to their intewas to get a better country. This was not to rest by honesty in their dealings. Our factors be had but by settling to the west of our plan- and traders, having no other purpose in view tations, on ground which has been hitherto sup-than immediate profit, use all the arts of an posed to belong to us.
European counting-house, to defraud the simple hunter of his furs."
Hither, therefore, they resolved to remove, and, to fix, at their own discretion, the western These are some of the causes of our present border of our colonies, which was heretofore con- weakness; our planters are always quarrelling sidered as unlimited. Thus by forming a line with their governor, whom they consider as less of forts, in some measure parallel to the coast, to be trusted than the French; and our traders they inclose us between their garrisons and the hourly alienate the Indians by their tricks and sea, and not only hinder our extension west-oppressions, and we continue every day to show ward, 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 as 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 new proofs, that no people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE TREATY
FROM THE LITERARY MAGAZINE FOR JULY, 1756.
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 apart as instances of the most profound policy few merchant-ships, and have distressed some private families, but have very little weakened the power of France. The detention of their seamen makes it indeed less 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 show 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 superiority.
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
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 in
and the most active care of the public welfare, and on the other as acts of the most contemp tible folly and most flagrant corruption, as violations of the great trust of government, by which the wealth of Britain is sacrificed to private views, and to a particular province.
What honours our ministers and negotiators may expect to be paid to their wisdom, it is hard to determine, for the demands of vanity are not easily estimated. They should consider, before they call too loudly for encomiums, that they live in an age when the power of gold is no lon ger a secret, and in which no man finds much difficulty in making a bargain with money in his hand. To hire troops is very easy to those who are willing to pay their price. It appears therefore, that whatever has been done, was done by means which every man knows how to use, if fortune is kind enough to put them in his power. To arm the nations of the north in the cause of Britain, to bring down hosts against France from the polar circle, has indeed a sound of magnificence, which might induce a mind unacquainted with public affairs to imagine, that some effort of policy more than human had been exerted, by which distant nations were armed in our defence, and the influence of Britain was extended to the utmost limits of the world. But when this striking phenomenon of negotiation is more nearly inspected, it appears a bargain merely mercantile of one power that wanted troops more than money, with another that wanted money, and was burdened with troops; between whom their mutual wants made an easy contract, and who have no other friendship for each other, than reciprocal convenience happens to produce.
We shall therefore leave the praises of our
ministers to others, yet not without this acknowledgment, that if they have done little, they do not seem to boast of doing much; and that whether influenced by modesty or frugality, they have not wearied the public with mercenary panegyrists, but have been content with the concurrence of the parliament, and have not much solicited the applauses of the people.
In public as in private transactions, men more frequently deviate from the right for want of virtue than of wisdom; and those who declare themselves dissatisfied with these treaties, impute them not to folly, but corruption.
By these advocates for the independence of Britain, who, whether their arguments be just or not, seem to be most favourably heard by the people, it is alleged, that these treaties are expensive without advantage; that they waste the treasure which we want for our own defence, upon a foreign interest; and pour the gains of our commerce into the coffers of princes, whose enniity cannot hurt nor friendship help us; who set their subjects to sale like sheep or oxen, without any inquiry after the intentions of the buyer, and will withdraw the troops with which they have supplied us, whenever a higher bidder shall be found.
This perhaps is true, but whether it be true or false is not worth inquiry. We did not expect to buy their friendship, but their troops; nor did we examine upon what principles we were supplied with assistance; it was sufficient that we wanted forces, and that they were willing to furnish them. Policy never pretended to make men wise and good; the utmost of her power is to make the best use of men such as they are, to lay hold on lucky hours, to watch the present wants and present interests of others, and make them subservient to her own convenience.
It is farther urged with great vehemence, that these troops of Russia and Hesse are not hired in defence of Britain; that we are engaged in a naval war for territories on a distant continent; and that these troops, though mercenaries, can never be auxiliaries; that they increase the burden of the war, without hastening its conclusion, or promoting its success; since they can neither be sent into America, the only part of the world where England can, on the present occasion, have any employment for land forces, nor be put into our ships, by which, and by which only, we are now to oppose and subdue our enemies.
Nature has stationed us in an island inaccessible but by sea; and we are now at war with an enemy, whose naval power is inferior to our own, and from whom therefore we are in no danger of invasion: to what purpose then are troops hired in such uncommon numbers? To what end do we procure strength which we cannot exert, and exhaust the nation with subsidies at a time when nothing is disputed, which the princes who receive our subsidies can defend? If we had purchased ships, and hired seamen, we had apparently increased our power, and made ourselves formidable to our enemies, and, if any increase of security be possible, had secured ourselves still better from invasions: but what can the regiments of Russia or of Hesse contribute to the defence of the coasts of England; or by what assistance can they repay us the sums which we have stipulated to pay for their costly friendship?
The king of Great Britain has indeed a territory
on the continent, of which the natives of this island scarcely knew the name till the present family was called to the throne, and yet know little more than that our king visits it from time to time. Yet for the defence of this country are these subsidies apparently paid, and these troops evidently levied. The riches of our nation are sent into distant countries, and the strength which should be employed in our own quarrel consequently impaired, for the sake of dominions, the interest of which has no connexion with ours, and which, by the act of succession, we took care to keep separate from the British kingdoms.
To this the advocates for the subsidies say, that unreasonable stipulations, whether in the act of settlement or any other contract, are in themselves void; and that if a country connected with England by subjection to the same sovereign, is endangered by an English quarrel, it must be defended by English force; and that we do not engage in a war for the sake of Hanover, but that Hanover is for our sake exposed to danger.
Those who brought in these foreign troops have still something further to say in their de fence, and of no honest plea is it our intention to defraud them. They grant that the terror of invasion may possibly be groundless, that the French may want the power or the courage to attack us in our own country; but they maintain, likewise, that an invasion is possible, that the armies of France are so numerous that she may hazard a large body on the ocean, without leaving herself exposed; that she is exasperated to the utmost degree of acrimony, and would be willing to do us mischief at her own peril. They allow that the invaders may be intercepted at sea, or that, if they land, they may be defeated by our native troops. But they say, and say justly, that danger is better avoided than encountered; that those ministers consult more the good of their country who prevent invasion, than repel it; and that if these auxiliaries have only saved us from the anxiety of expecting an enemy at our doors, or from the tumult and distress which an invasion, how soon soever repressed, would have produced, the public money is not spent in vain.
These arguments are admitted by some, and by others rejected. But even those that admit them, can admit them only as pleas of necessity; for they consider the reception of mercenaries into our country as the desperate remedy of desperate distress; and think with great reason, that all means of prevention should be tried to save us from any second need of such doubtful succours.
That we are able to defend our own country, that arn.s are most safely entrusted to our own hands, and that we have strength, and skill, and courage, equal to the best of the nations of the continent, is the opinion of every Englishman, who can think without prejudice, and speak without influence; and therefore it will not be easy to persuade the nation, a nation long renowned for valour, that it can need the help of foreigners to defend it from invasion. We have been long without the need of arms by our good fortune, and long without the use by our negli gence; so long, that the practice and almost the name of our old trained-bands is forgotten. But the story of ancient times will tell us, that the trained-bands were once able to maintain the quiet and safety of their country; and reason without history will inform us, that those men are
most likely to fight bravely, or at least to fight obstinately, who fight for their own houses and farms, for their own wives and children.
for the most proper objects, and the noblest occa sions: occasions that may never happen, and objects that may never be found.
A bill was therefore offered for the prevention It is far from certain, that a single Englishman of any future danger or invasion, or necessity of will suffer by the charity of the French. New mercenary forces, by re-establishing and improv-scenes of misery make new impressions; and ing the militia. It was passed by the Commons, much of the charity which produced these dobut rejected by the Lords. That this bill, the nations, may be supposed to have been generat first essay of political consideration as a subjected by a species of calamity never known among long forgotten, should be liable to objection, cannot be strange; but surely justice, policy, common reason, require that we should be trusted with our own defence, and be kept no longer in such a helpless state as at once to dread our enemies and confederates.
By the bill, such as it was formed, sixty thousand men would always be in arms. We have shown how they may be upon any exigence easily increased to a hundred and fifty thousand; and I believe neither our friends nor enemies will think it proper to insult our coasts, when they expect to find upon them a hundred and fifty thousand Englishmen with swords in their hands.
us before. Some imagine that the laws have provided all necessary relief in common cases, and remit the poor to the care of the public; some have been deceived by fictitious misery, and are afraid of encouraging imposture; many have observed want to be the effect of vice, and consider casual almsgivers as patrons of idleness. But all these difficulties vanish in the present case: we know that for the Prisoners of War there is no legal provision; we see their distress, and are certain of its cause; we know that they are poor and naked, and poor and naked without a crime.
But it is not necessary to make any concessions. The opponents of this charity must allow it to be good, and will not easily prove it not to be the best. That charity is best of which the consequences are most extensive: the relief of INTRODUCTION TO THE PROCEED- enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraINGS OF THE COMMITTEE AP-ternal affection: to soften the acrimony of adverse POINTED TO MANAGE THE CONTRIBUTIONS BEGUN AT LONDON, DEC. 18, 1758, FOR CLOTHING FRENCH PRISONERS OF WAR.
THE Committee intrusted with the money contributed to the relief of the subjects of France, now prisoners in the British dominions, here lay before the public an exact account of all the sums received and expended, that the donors may judge how properly their benefactions have been applied.
nations, and dispose them to peace and amity:
The effects of these contributions may, perhaps, reach still further. Truth is best supported by virtue: we may hope from those who feel Charity would lose its name, were it influenced or who see our charity, that they shall no longer by so mean a motive as human praise; it is detest as heresy that religion which makes its therefore not intended to celebrate by any parti-manded us to "do good to them that hate us.” professors the followers of Him, who has cointicular memorial, the liberality of single persons, or distinct societies; it is sufficient that their works praise them.
Yet he who is far from seeking honour, may very justly obviate censure. If a good example has been set, it may lose its influence by misrepresentation; and to free charity from reproach, itself a charitable action.
Against the relief of the French only one argument has been brought: but that one is so popular and specious, that if it were to remain unexamined, it would by many be thought irrefragable. It has been urged, that charity, like other virtues, may be improperly and unseasonably exerted; that while we are relieving Frenchmen, there remain many Englishmen unrelieved; that while we lavish pity on our enemies, we forget the misery of our friends.
Grant this argument all it can prove, and what is the conclusion?-That to relieve the French is a good action, but that a better may be conceived. This is all the result, and this all is very little. To do the best can seldom be the lot of man; it is sufficient if, when opportunities are presented, he is ready to do good. How little virtue could be practised, if beneficence were to wait always
See Literary Magazine, No. II. p. 63.
ON THE BRAVERY OF THE ENG-
By those who have compared the military genius of the English with that of the French nation, it is remarked, that the French officers will always lead, if the soldiers will follow and that the English soldiers will always follow, if their officers will lead.
In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness: and, in this comparison, our officers seem to lose what our soldiers gain. I know not any reason for supposing that the English officers are less willing than the French to lead; but it is, I think, universally allowed, that the English soldiers are more willing to follow. Our nation may boast, beyond any other people in the world, of a kind of epidemic bravery, diffused equally through all
We can show a peasantry of heroes, and fill our armies with clowns, whose courage may vie with that of their general.
There may be some pleasure in tracing the causes of this plebeian magnanimity. The qualities which commonly make an army formidable,
are long habits of regularity, great exactness of discipline, and great confidence in the commander. Regularity may, in time, produce a kind of mechanical obedience to signals and commands, like that which the perverse Cartesians impute to animals; discipline may impress such an awe upon the mind, that any danger shall be less dreaded than the danger of punishment; and confidence in the wisdom or fortune of the general, may induce the soldiers to follow him blindly to the most dangerous enterprize.
What may be done by discipline and regularity, may be seen in the troops of the Russian empress, and Prussian monarch. We find that they may be broken without confusion, and repulsed without flight.
But the English troops have none of these requisites in an eminent degree. Regularity is by no means part of their character; they are rarely exercised, and therefore show very little dexterity in their evolutions as bodies of men, or in the manual use of their weapons as individuals; they neither are thought by others, nor by themselves more active or exact than their enemies, and therefore derive none of their courage from such imaginary superiority.
The manner in which they are dispersed in quarters over the country during times of peace, naturally produces laxity of discipline: they are very little in sight of their officers; and, when they are not engaged in the slight duty of the guard, are suffered to live every man his own
The equality of English privileges, the impartiality of our laws, the freedom of our tenures, and the prosperity of our trade, dispose us very little to reverence of superiors. It is not to any great esteem of the officers that the English soldier is indebted for his spirit in the hour of battle; for perhaps it does not often happen that he thinks much better of his leader than of himself. The French Count, who has lately published the Art of War, remarks how much soldiers are animated, when they see all their dangers shared by those who were born to be their masters, and whom they consider as beings of a different rank. The Englishman despises such motives of courage; he was born without a master; and looks not on any man, however dignified by lace or titles, as deriving from nature any claims to his respect, or inheriting any qualities superior to his own.
There are some, perhaps, who would imagine that every Englishman fights better than the subjects of absolute governments, because he has more to defend. But what has the English more than the French soldier? Property they are both commonly without. Liberty is, to the lowest rank of every nation, little more than the choice of working or starving; and this choice is, I suppose, equally allowed in every country. The English soldier seldom has his head very full of the constitution; nor has there been, for more than a century, any war that put the property or liberty of a single Englishman in danger.
Whence then is the courage of the English vulgar? It proceeeds, in my opinion, from that dissolution of dependence,, which obliges every man to regard his own character. While every man is fed by his own hands, he has no need of any servile arts; he may always have wages for his labour; and is no less necessary to his em
ployer, than his employer is to him. While he looks for no protection from others, he is naturally roused to be his own protector; and having nothing to abate his esteem of himself, he con sequently aspires to the esteem of others. Thus every man that crowds our streets is a man of honour, disdainful of obligation, impatient of re proach, and desirous of extending his reputation among those of his own rank; and as courage is in most frequent use, the fame of courage is most eagerly pursued. From this neglect of subordination I do not deny that some inconve niences may from time to time proceed: the power of the law does not always sufficiently supply the want of reverence, or maintain the proper distinction between different ranks; but good and evil will grow up in this world to gether; and they who complain in peace of the insolence of the populace, must remember, that their insolence in peace is bravery in war.
THE FALSE ALARM. 1770.
ONE of the chief advantages derived by the present generation from the improvement and diffu sion of philosophy, is deliverance from unneces sary terror, and exemption from false alarms. The unusual appearances, whether regular or accidental, which once spread consternation over ages of ignorance, are now the recreations of inquisitive security. The sun is no more lamented when it is eclipsed, than when it sets; and meteors play their coruscations without prognostic or prediction.
The advancement of political knowledge may be expected to produce in time the like effects. Causeless discontent and seditious violence will grow less frequent and less formidable, as the science of government is better ascertained, by diligent study of the theory of man.
It is not, indeed, to be expected, that physical and political truth should meet with equal ac ceptance, or gain ground upon the world with equal facility. The notions of the naturalist find mankind in a state of neutrality, or at worst have nothing to encounter but prejudice and vanity; prejudice without malignity, and vanity without interest. But the politician's improvements are opposed by every passion that can exclude conviction or suppress it; by ambition, by avarice, by hope, and by terror, by public faction, and private animosity.
It is evident, whatever be the cause, that this nation, with all its renown for speculation and for learning, has yet made little proficiency in civil wisdom. We are still so much unacquaint ed with our own state, and so unskilful in the pursuit of happiness, that we shudder without danger, complain without grievances, and suffer our quiet to be disturbed, and our commerce to be interrupted, by an opposition to the Govern ment, raised only by interest, and supported only by clamour, which yet has so far prevailed upon ignorance and timidity, that many favour it as reasonable, and many dread it as powerful.
What is urged by those who have been so industrious to spread suspicion, and incite fury, from one end of the kingdom to the other, may be known by perusing the papers which have been at once presented as petitions to the king,