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It was, however, understood, by a kind of tacit compact among the commercial powers, that poffeffion 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 welt 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 un. happy 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 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 molelting their European neighbours, nor molested by them.
But when they grew ítronger 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 shewn by the other European usurpers, and which neither the English nor Spaniards will contest; but of this cold region they have enough already, and their resolution was to get a better coun, try. 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 paralled to the coast, they inclose us between their garrisons and the sea, and not only hinder our extension weitward, 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 so soon as it was discovered; we foolishly hoped, that their encroachments would stop, that they would be prevailed on by treaty and remonftrance, 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-thips, and have distressed fome private families, but have very little weakened the power of France. The detention of their seamen makes it indeed lets easy for them to fit out their navy; but this deficiency will be easily fupplied 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 New the evils which we desire to be removed ; and, therefore, fome account may very properly be given of the measures which have given them their present superiority.
They are laid to be supplied from France with bet. ter governors than our colonies have the fate to obtain from England. A French governor is seldom cholen 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, feldom recommends any man to the govern. ment 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 obferved, 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 Eu
ropean counting-house, to defraud the simple hunter of his furs.
These are some of the causes of our present weakness; our planters are always quarrelling with their governor, whom they consider as less to be trusted than the French; and our traders hourly alienate the file dians 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.
MEMOIRS of the Court of AUGUSTUS;
By THOMAS BLACKWELL, J. U. D. Principal of MARISHAL-COLLEGE in the University of ABERDEEN.
ITHE 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 nanies and facts doomed to oblivion are now restored to fame.
How must the unlearned reader be surprised, when he Ihall be told that Mr. Blackwell has neither digged in the ruins of any demolished city, nor found out the way to the library of Foz; 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 furnished employment to the studious, and amuse