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and places, venality and corruption, oppression and invasion, slavery and ruin.

You who are here, says he, complaining of venality, are yourselves the agents of those who, having estimated themselves at too high a price, are only angry that they are not bought. You are appealing from the parliament to the rabble, and inviting those who scarcely, in the most common affairs, distinguish right from wrong, to

Outeries like these, uttered by malignity, and echoed by folly; general accusations of indeterminate wickedness; and obscure hints of impossible designs, dispersed among those that do not know their meaning, by those that know them to be false, have disposed part of the na-judge of a question complicated with law writtion, though but a small part, to pester the court with ridiculous petitions.

The progress of a petition is well known. An ejected placeman goes down to his county or his borough, tells his friends of his inability to serve them, and his constituents of the corruption of the government. His friends readily understand that he who can get nothing, will have nothing to give. They agree to proclaim a meeting; meat and drink are plentifully provided; a crowd is easily brought together, and those who think that they know the reason of their meeting, undertake to tell those who know it not. Ale and clamour unite their powers, the crowd, condensed and heated, begins to ferment with the leaven of sedition. All see a thousand evils, though they cannot show them, and grow impatient for a remedy, though they know not what.

ten and unwritten, with the general principles of government, and the particular customs of the House of Commons; you are showing them a grievance, so distant that they cannot see it, and so light that they cannot feel it; for how, but by unnecessary intelligence and artificial provocation, should the farmers and shopkeepers of Yorkshire and Cumberland know or care how Middlesex is represented? instead of wandering thus round the county to exasperate the rage of party, and darken the suspicions of ignorance, it is the duty of men like you, who have leisure for inquiry, to lead back the people to their honest labour; to tell them, that submission is the duty of the ignorant, and content the virtue of the poor; that they have no skill in the art of government, nor any interest in the dissensions of the great; and when you meet with any, as some there are, whose understandings are capaA speech is then made by the Cicero of the ble of conviction, it will become you to allay this day; he says much and suppresses more, and foaming ebullition, by showing them that they credit is equally given to what he tells, and what have as much happiness as the condition of life he conceals. The petition is read and univer-will easily receive, and that a government, of sally approved. Those who are sober enough to write, add their names, and the rest would sign it if they could.

Every man goes home and tells his neighbour of the glories of the day; how he was consulted and what he advised; how he was invited into the great room, where his lordship called him by his name; how he was caressed by Sir Francis, Sir Joseph, or Sir George; how he eat turtle and venison, and drank unanimity to the three brothers.

The poor loiterer, whose shop had confined him, or whose wife had locked him up, hears the tale of luxury with envy, and at last inquires what was their petition. Of the petition nothing is remembered by the narrator, but that it spoke much of fears and apprehensions, and something very alarming, and that he is sure it is against the government; the other is convinced that it must be right, and wishes he had been there, for he loves wine and venison, and is resolved as long as he lives to be against the government.

The petition is then handed from town to town, and from house to house, and wherever it comes the inhabitants flock together, that they may see that which must be sent to the king. Names are easily collected. One man signs because he hates the papists, another because he has vowed destruction to the turnpikes; one because it will vex the parson, another because he owes his landlord nothing; one because he is rich, another because he is poor; one to show that he is not afraid, and another to show that he can write.

The passage, however, is not always smooth. Those who collect contributions to sedition, sometimes apply to a man of higher rank and more enlightened mind, who, instead of lending them his name, calmly reproves them for being seducers of the people.

which an erroneous or unjust representation of Middlesex is the greatest crime that interest can discover, or malice can upbraid, is government approaching nearer to perfection, than any that experience has known, or history related.

The drudges of sedition wish to change their ground, they hear him with sullen silence, feel conviction without repentance, and are confounded but not abashed; they go forward to another door, and find a kinder reception from a man enraged against the government, because he has just been paying the tax upon his windows.

That a petition for a dissolution of the parliament will at all times have its favourers, may be easily imagined. The people indeed do not expect that one House of Commons will be much honester or much wiser than another: they do not suppose that the taxes will be lightened; or, though they have been so often taught to hope it, that soap and candles will be cheaper: they expect no redress of grievances, for of no grievances but taxes do they complain; they wish not the extension of liberty, for they do not feel any restraint; about the security of privilege or property they are totally careless, for they see no property invaded, nor know, till they are told, that any privilege has suffered violation.

Least of all do they expect, that any future parliament will lessen its own powers, or communicate to the people that authority which it has once obtained.

Yet a new parliament is sufficiently desirable. The year of election is a year of jollity; and what is still more delightful, a year of equality. The glutton now eats the delicacies for which he longed when he could not purchase them, and the drunkard has the pleasure of wine without the cost. The drone lives & while without work, and the shopkeeper, in the flow of money, raises his price. The mechanic that trembled at the

presence of Sir Joseph, now bids him come again for an answer; and the poacher whose gun has been seized, now finds an opportunity to reclaim it. Even the honest man is not displeased to see himself important, and willingly resumes in two years that power which he had resigned for seven. Few love their friends so well as not to desire superiority by unexpensive benefaction.

Yet notwithstanding all these motives to compliance, the promoters of petitions have not been successful. Few could be persuaded to lament evils which they did not suffer, or to solicit for redress which they do not want. The petition has been, in some places, rejected; and perhaps, in all but one, signed only by the meanest and grossest of the people.

voured to deserve them. They have insulted him with rudeness and with menaces, which were never excited by the gloomy sullenness of William, even when half the nation denied him their allegiance: nor by the dangerous bigotry of James, unless when he was finally driven from his palace; and with which scarcely the open hostilities of rebellion ventured to vilify the unhappy Charles, even in the remarks on the cabinet of Naseby.

It is surely not unreasonable to hope that the nation will consult its dignity, if not its safety, and disdain to be protected or enslaved by the declaimers or the plotters of a city-tavern. Had Rome fallen by the Catilinarian conspiracy, she might have consoled her fate by the greatness of her destroyers; but what would have alleviated the disgrace of England, had her government been changed by Tiler or by Ket?

Since this expedient, now invented or revived to distress the government, and equally practicable at all times by all who shall be excluded One part of the nation has never before confrom power and from profit, has produced so tended with the other, but for some weighty and little effect, let us consider the opposition as no apparent interest. If the means were violent, longer formidable. The great engine has re- the end was great. The civil war was fought coiled upon them. They thought that the terms for what each army called and believed the best they sent were terms of weight, which would have religion and the best government. The struggle amazed all and stumbled many; but the conster-in the reign of Anne, was to exclude or restore nation is now over, and their foes stand upright, as before.

With great propriety and dignity the king has, in his speech, neglected or forgotten them. He might easily know, that what was presented as the sense of the people, is the sense only of the profligate and dissolute; and that whatever parliament should be convened, the same petitioners would be ready, for the same reason, to request its dissolution.

As we once had a rebellion of the clowns, we have now an opposition of the pedlars. The quiet of the nation has been for years disturbed by a faction, against which all factions ought to conspire; for its original principle is the desire of levelling; it is only animated under the name of zeal, by the natural malignity of the mean against the great.

When, in the confusion which the English nvasions produced in France, the villains, imagining that they had found the golden hour of emancipation, took arms in their hands, the knights of both nations considered the cause as common, and, suspending the general hostility, united to chastise them.

The whole conduct of this despicable faction is distinguished by plebeian grossness, and savage indecency. To misrepresent the actions and the principles of their enemies is common to all parties; but the insolence of invective, and brutality of reproach, which have lately prevailed, are peculiar to this.

An infallible characteristic of meanness is cruelty. This is the only faction that has shouted at the condemnation of a criminal, and that, when his innocence procured his pardon, has clamoured for his blood.

All other parties, however enraged at each other, have agreed to treat the throne with decency; but these low-born railers have attacked not only the authority, but the character, of their sovereign, and have endeavoured, surely without effect, to alienate the affections of the people from the only king, who, for almost a century, has much appeared to desire, or much endea

an exile king. We are now disputing, with almost equal animosity, whether Middlesex shall be represented or not by a criminal from a jail. The only comfort left in such degeneracy is, that a lower state can be no longer possible.

In this contemptuous censure, I mean not to include every single man. In all lead, says the chemist, there is silver; and in all copper there is gold. But mingled masses are justly denomi nated by the greater quantity, and when the precious particles are not worth extraction, a faction and a pig must be melted down together to the forms and offices that chance allots them.

"Fiunt urceoli, pelves, sartago, patella."

A few weeks will now show whether the government can be shaken by empty noise, and whether the faction which depends upon its influence, has not deceived alike the public and itself. That it should have continued till now is sufficiently shameful. None can, indeed, wonder that it has been supported by the sectaries, the natural fomenters of sedition and confede rates of the rabble, of whose religion little now remains but hatred of establishments, and who are angry to find separation now only tolerated, which was once rewarded: but every honest man must lament, that it has been regarded with frigid neutrality by the tories, who, being long accustomed to signalize their principles by opposition to the court, do not yet consider that they have at last a king who knows not the name of party, and who wishes to be the common father of all his people.

As a man inebriated only by vapours, soon recovers in the open air; a nation discontented to madness, without any adequate cause, will return to its wits and its allegiance when a little pause has cooled it to reflection. Nothing, therefore, is necessary, at this alarming crisis, but to consider the alarm as false. To make concessions, is to encourage encroachment. Let the court despise the faction, and the disappointed people will soon deride it.

THOUGHTS ON THE LATE TRANSAC-pied, yet they still continued their hopes and TIONS RESPECTING FALKLAND'S their labours. They were the second nation ISLANDS. 1771.

To proportion the eagerness of contest to its importance, seems too hard a task for human wisdom. The pride of wit has kept ages busy in the discussion of useless questions, and the pride of power has destroyed armies to gain or to keep unprofitable possessions.

that dared the extent of the Pacific Ocean, and the second circumnavigators of the globe.

By the war between Elizabeth and Philip, the wealth of America became lawful prize, and those who were less afraid of danger than of poverty, supposed that riches might easily be ob tained by plundering the Spaniards. Nothing is difficult when gain and honour unite their Not many years have passed since the cruel-influence; the spirit and vigour of these exties of war were filling the world with terror peditions enlarged our views of the new world, and with sorrow; rage was at last appeased, or and made us first acquainted with its remoter strength exhausted, and to the harassed nations coasts. peace was restored with all its pleasures and its benefits. Of this state all felt the happiness, and all implored the continuance; but what continuance of happiness can be expected, when the whole system of European empire can be in danger of a new concussion, by a contention for a few spots of earth, which, in the deserts of the ocean, had almost escaped human notice, and which, if they had not happened to make a seamark, had perhaps never had a name?

In the fatal voyage of Cavendish, (1592,) Captain Davies, who, being sent out as his associate, was afterwards parted from him or deserted him, as he was driven by violence of weather about the straits of Magellan, is supposed to have been the first who saw the lands now called Falkland's Islands, but his distress permitted him not to make any observation, and he left them as he found them, without a name.

Fortune often delights to dignify what nature has neglected, and that renown which cannot be claimed by intrinsic excellence or greatness, is sometimes derived from unexpected accidents. The Rubicon was ennobled by the passage of Cæsar, and the time is now come when Falk-procure a general reception to the new name; land's Islands demand their historian.

But the writer to whom this employment shall be assigned, will have few opportunities of descriptive splendour, or narrative elegance. Of other countries it is told how often they have changed their government; these islands have hitherto changed only their name. Of heroes to conquer, or legislators to civilize, here has been no appearance; nothing has happened to them but that they have been sometimes seen by wandering navigators, who passed by them in search of better habitations.

When the Spaniards, who, under the conduct of Columbus, discovered America, had taken possession of its most wealthy regions, they surprised and terrified Europe by a sudden and unexampled influx of riches. They were made at once insupportably insolent, and might perhaps have become irresistibly powerful, had not their mountainous treasures been scattered in the air with the ignorant profusion of unaccustomed opulence.

The greater part of the European potentates saw this stream of riches flowing into Spain without attempting to dip their own hands in the golden fountain. France had no naval skill or power; Portugal was extending her dominions in the east over regions formed in the gayety of nature; the Hanseatic league, being planned only for the security of traffic, had no tendency to discovery or invasion; and the commercial states of Italy growing rich by trading between Asia and Europe, and not lying upon the ocean, did not desire to seek by great hazards, at a distance, what was almost at home to be found with safety.

The English alone were animated by the success of the Spanish navigators, to try if any thing was left that might reward adventure, or incite appropriation. They sent Cabot into the north, but in the north there was no gold or silver to be found. The best regions were pre-occu

Not long afterwards (1594) Sir Richard Hawkins being in the same seas with the same designs, saw these Islands again, if they are indeed the same islands, and, in honour of his mistress, called them Hawkins' Maiden Land. This voyage was not of renown sufficient to for when the Dutch, who had now become strong enough not only to defend themselves, but to at tack their masters, sent (1538) Verhagen and Sebald de Wert into the South Seas, these islands which were not supposed to have been known before, obtained the denomination of Sebald's Islands, and were from that time placed in the charts; though Frezier tells us, that they were yet considered as of doubtful existence.

Their present English name was probably given them (1689) by Strong, whose journal, yet unprinted, may be found in the Museum. This name was adopted by Halley, and has from that time, I believe, been received into our maps.

The privateers which were put into motion by the wars of William and Anne, saw those Islands and mentioned them; but they were yet not considered as territories worth a contest. Strong affirmed that there was no wood, and Dampier suspected that they had no water.

Frezier describes their appearance with more distinctness, and mentions some ships of St. Maloes, by which they had been visited, and to which he seems willing enough to ascribe the honour of discovering islands which yet he admits to have been seen by Hawkins, and named by Sebald de Wert. He, I suppose, in honour of his countrymen, called them the Malouines, the denomination now used by the Spaniards, who seem not, till very lately, to have thought them important enough to deserve a name.

Since the publication of Anson's voyage, they have very much changed their opinion, finding a settlement in Pepy's or Falkland's Island recommended by the author as necessary to the success of our future expeditions against the coast of Chili, and as of such use and import. ance, that it would produce many advantages in peace, and in war would make us masters of the South Sea.

Scarcely any degree of judgment is sufficient to restrain the imagination from magnifying that

on which it is long detained. The relater of Anson's voyage had heated his mind with its various events, had partaken the hope with which it was begun, and the vexation suffered by its various miscarriages, and then thought nothing could be of greater benefit to the nation than that which might promote the success of such another enterprise.

Had the heroes of that history even performed and attained all that, when they first spread their sails, they ventured to hope, the consequence would yet have produced very little hurt to the Spaniards, and very little benefit to the English. They would have taken a few towns; Anson and his companions would have shared the plunder or the ransom; and the Spaniards, finding their southern territories accessible, would for the future have guarded them better. That such a settlement may be of use in war, no man that considers its situation will deny. But war is not the whole business of life; it happens but seldom, and every man, either good or wise, wishes that its frequency were still less. That conduct which betrays designs of future hostility, if it does not excite violence, will always generate malignity; it must for ever exclude confidence and friendship, and continue a cold and sluggish rivalry, by a sly reciprocation of indirect injuries, without the bravery of war, or the security of peace.

The advantage of such a settlement in time of peace is, I think, not easily to be proved. For what use can it have but of a station for contraband traders, a nursery of fraud, and a receptacle of theft? Narborough, about a century ago, was of opinion, that no advantage could be obtained in voyages to the South Sea, except by such an armament as, with a sailor's morality, might trade by force. It is well known that the prohibitions of foreign commerce, are, in these countries, to the last degree rigorous, and that no man, not authorized by the king of Spain, can trade there but by force or stealth. Whatever profit is obtained, must be gained by the violence of rapine, or dexterity of fraud.

ways generates in those who are to defend unjust acquisitions against lawful authority; and when he comes home with riches thus acquired, he brings a mind hardened in evil, too proud for reproof, and too stupid for reflection; he offends the high by his insolence, and corrupts the low by his example.

Whether these truths were forgotten or de spised, or whether some better purpose was then in agitation, the representation made in Anson's voyage had such effect upon the statesmen of that time, that (in 1748) some sloops were fitted out for the fuller knowledge of Pepys's and Falkland's Islands, and for further discoveries in the South Sea. This expedition, though perhaps designed to be secret, was not long concealed from Wall, the Spanish ambassador, who so vehemently opposed it, and so strongly maintained the right of the Spaniards to the exclusive dominion of the South Sea, that the English ministry relinquished part of their original design, and declared that the examination of those two islands was the utmost that their orders should comprise.

This concession was sufficiently liberal or sufficiently submissive; yet the Spanish court was neither gratified by our kindness, nor softened by our humility. Sir Benjamin Keene, who then resided at Madrid, was interrogated by Carvajal concerning the visit intended to Pepys's and Falkland's Islands in terms of great jealousy and discontent; and the intended expedition was represented, if not as a direct violation of the late peace, yet as an act inconsistent with amicable intentions, and contrary to the profes sions of mutual kindness which then passed be tween Spain and England. Keene was directed to protest that nothing more than mere discovery was intended, and that no settlement was to be established. The Spaniard readily replied, that if this was a voyage of wanton curiosity, it might be gratified with less trouble, for he was willing to communicate whatever was known; that to go so far only to come back, was no rea sonable act: and it would be a slender sacrifice to peace and friendship to omit a voyage in which nothing was to be gained: that if we left the places as we found them, the voyage was useless; and if we took possession, it was a hostile armament, nor could we expect that the Spaniards would suppose us to visit the southern parts of America only from curiosity, after the scheme proposed by the author of Anson's

Government will not, perhaps, soon arrive at such purity and excellence, but that some connivance at least will be indulged to the triumphant and successful cheat. He that brings wealth home, is seldom interrogated by what means it was obtained. This, however, is one of those modes of corruption with which mankind ought always to struggle, and they may in time hope to overcome. There is reason to ex-voyage. pect, that, as the world is more enlightened, policy and morality will at last be reconciled, and that nations will learn not to do what they would not suffer.

But the silent toleration of suspected guilt is a degree of depravity far below that which openly incites and manifestly protects it. To pardon a pirate may be injurious to mankind; but how much greater is the crime of opening a port in which all pirates shall be safe! The contraband trader is not more worthy of protections: if, with Narborough, he trades by force, he is a pirate; if he trade secretly, he is only a thief. Those who honestly refuse his traffic, he hates as obstructors of his profit; and those with whom he deals he cheats, because he knows that they dare not complain. He lives with a heart full of that malignity which fear of detection al

When once we had disowned all purpose of settling, it is apparent that we could not defend the propriety of our expedition by arguments equivalent to Carvajal's objections. This ministry, therefore, dismissed the whole design, but no declaration was required by which our right to pursue it hereafter might be annulled.

From this time Falkland's Island was forgotten or neglected, till the conduct of naval affairs was intrusted to the Earl of Egmont, a man whose mind was vigorous and ardent, whose knowledge was extensive, and whose designs were magnificent: but who had somewhat vitiated his judgment by too much indulgence of romantic projects and airy speculations.

Lord Egmont's eagerness after something new determined him to make inquiry after Falkland's Island, and he sent out Captain Byron, who, in

the beginning of the year 1765, took, he says, a formal possession in the name of his Britannic Majesty.

The possession of this place is, according to Mr. Byron's representation, no despicable acquisition. He conceived the Island to be six or seven hundred miles round, and represented it a region naked indeed of wood, but which, if that defect were supplied, would have all that nature, almost all that luxury, could want. The harbour he found capacious and secure, and therefore thought it worthy the name of Egmont. Of water there was no want, and the ground he described as having all the excellences of soil, and as covered with antiscorbutic herbs, the restoratives of the sailor. Provision was easily to be had, for they killed almost every day a hundred geese to each ship, by pelting them with stones. Not content with physic and with food, he searched yet deeper for the value of the new dominion. He dug in quest of ore, found iron in abundance, and did not despair of nobler metals.

A country thus fertile and delightful, fortunately found where none would have expected it, about the fiftieth degree southern latitude, could not without great supineness be neglected. Early in the next year, (January 8, 1766,) Captain Macbride arrived at Port Egmont, where he erected a small blockhouse and stationed a garrison. His description was less flattering. He found what he calls a mass of islands and broken lands, of which the soil was nothing but a bog, with no better prospect than that of barren mountains, beaten by storms almost perpetual. Yet this, says he, is summer, and if the winds of winter hold their natural proportion, those who lie but two cables' length from the shore, must pass weeks without any communication with it. The plenty which regaled Mr. Byron, and which might have supported not only armies but armies of Patagons, was no longer to be found. The geese were too wise to stay when men violated their haunts, and Mr. Macbride's crew could only now and then kill a goose when the weather would permit. All the quadrupeds which he met there were foxes, supposed by him to have been brought upon the ice; but of useless animals, such as sea-lions and penguins, which he calls vermin, the number was incredible. He allows, however, that those who touch at these islands may find geese and snipes, and in the summer months, wild celery and sorrel.

No token was seen by either of any settlement ever made upon this island, and Mr. Macbride thought himself so secure from hostile disturbance, that when he erected his wooden blockhouse he omitted to open the ports and loopholes.

When a garrison was stationed at Port Egmont, it was necessary to try what sustenance the ground could be, by culture, excited to produce. A garden was prepared, but the plants that sprung up withered away in immaturity. Some fir-seeds were sown; but though this be the native tree of rugged climates, the young firs that rose above the ground died like weaker herbage. The cold continued long, and the ocean seldom was at rest.

Cattle succeeded better than vegetables. Goats, sheep, and hogs, that were carried thither, were found to thrive and increase as in other places.

Nil mortalibus arduum est. There is nothing|

which human courage will not undertake, and little that human patience will not endure. The garrison lived upon Falkland's Island, shrinking from the blast, and shuddering at the billows.

This was a colony which could never become independent, for it never could be able to maintain itself. The necessary supplies were annually sent from England, at an expense which the Admiralty began to think would not quickly be repaid. But shame of deserting a project, and unwillingness to contend with a projector that meant well, continued the garrison, and supplied it with regular remittances of stores and provision.

That of which we are almost weary ourselves, we did not expect any one to envy; and therefore supposed that we should be permitted to reside in Falkland's Island, the undisputed lords of tempest-beaten barrenness.

But on the 28th of November, 1769, Captain Hunt, observing a Spanish schooner hovering about the Island and surveying it, sent the commander a message, by which he required him to depart. The Spaniard made an appearance of obeying, but in two days came back with letters written by the Governor of Port Solidad, and brought by the chief officer of a settlement on the east part of Falkland's Island.

In this letter, dated Malouina, November 30th, the governor complains, that Captain Hunt, when he ordered the schooner to depart, assumed a power to which he could have no pretensions, by sending an imperious message to the Spaniards in the king of Spain's own dominions.

In another letter, sent at the same time, he supposes the English to be in that part only by accident, and to be ready to depart at the first warning. This letter was accompanied by a present, of which, says he, "If it be neither equal to my desire nor to your merit, you must impute the deficiency to the situation of us both.”

In return to this hostile civility, Captain Hunt warned them from the island, which he claimed in the name of the king, as belonging to the English by right of the first discovery, and the first settlement.

This was an assertion of more confidence than certainty. The right of discovery, indeed, has already appeared to be probable, but the right which priority of settlement confers I know not whether we yet can establish.

On December 10th, the officer sent by the Governor of Port Solidad made three protests against Captain Hunt for threatening to fire upon him; for opposing his entrance into Port Egmont; and for entering himself into Port Solidad. On the 12th the Governor of Port Solidad formally warned Captain Hunt to leave Port Egmont, and to forbear the navigation of these seas, with out permission from the king of Spain.

To this Captain Hunt replied by repeating his former claim; by declaring that his orders were to keep possession; and by once more warning the Spaniards to depart.

The next month produced more protests and more replies, of which the tenor was nearly the same. The operations of such harmless enmity having produced no effect, were then reciprocally discontinued, and the English were left for a time to enjoy the pleasures of Falkland's Island without molestation.

This tranquillity, however, did not last long.

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