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ever, 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.
JVU 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 were almost weary ourselves, we did not expect any one to envy; and therefore sup» posed 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 30, 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 10, the officer sent by the governor of Port Solidad made three protests against captain Hunts for threatening to fire upon him; for opposing his en trance 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, without 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 tenour 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. A few months afterwards (June 4, 1770) the Industry, a Spanish frigate, commanded by an officer whose name was Madariaga, anchored in Port Egmont, bound, as was said, for Port Solidad, and reduced, by a passage from Buenos Ayres of fifty-three days, to want of water. Three days afterwards four other frigates entered the port, and a broad pendant, such as is borne by the commander of a naval armament, was displayed from the Industry. Captain Farmer of the Swift frigate, who commanded the garrison, ordered thecrew of the Swift to come on shore, and assist in its defence; and directed Captain Maltby to bring the Favourite frigate, which he commanded, nearer to the land. The Spaniards easily discovering the purpose of his motion, let him know, that if he weighed his anchor, they would fire upon his ship; but paying no regard to these menaces, he advanced towards the shore. The Spanish fleet followed, and two shots were fired, which fell at a distance from him. He then sent to inquire the. teason of such hostility, and was told that the shots were intended only as signals. Both the English captains wrote the next day te . Madariaga the Sfianish commodore, warning him from the island, as from a place which the English held by right of discovery. Madariaga, who seems to have had no desire of unnecessary mischief, invited them (June 9) to send an officer who should take a view of his forces, that they might be convinced of the vanity of resistance, and do that without compulsion which he was upon refusal prepared to enforce. An officer was sent, who found sixteen hundred men, with a train of twenty-seven cannon, four mortars, and two hundred bombs. The fleet consisted of five frigates, from twenty to thirty guns, which were now stationed opposite to the block-house.
vOL. vIII. *!
He then sent them a formal memorial, in which he maintained his master's right to the whole Magellamck region, and exhorted the English to retire quietly from the settlement, which they could neither justify by right, nor maintain by power. He offered them the liberty of carrying away whatever they were desirous to remove, and promised his receipt for what should be left, that no loss might be suffered by them. . ,
His propositions were expressed in terms of great civility; but he concludes with demanding an answer in fifteen minutes. Having while he was writing received the letters of warning written the day before by the English cap.tains, he told them that he thought himself able to prove the king of Sfiain's title to all those countries, but that this was no time for verbal altercations. He per' sisted in his determination, and allowed only fifteen minutes for an answer. To this it was replied by Captain Farmer, that though there had been prescribed yet a shorter time, he should still resolutely defend his charge; that this, whether menace or force, would be considered as an insult on the British flag, and that satisfaction would certainly be required. On the next day (June 10) Madariaga landed his forces, and it may be easily imagined that he had no bloody conquest. The English had only a wooden blockhouse, built at Woolwich, and carried in pieces to the island, with a small battery of cannon. To contend with obstinacy had been only to lavishlife without use or hope. After the exchange of a very few shots, a capitulation was proposed. The Sfianish commander acted with moderation; he exerted little of the conqueror; what he had offered before the attack, he granted after the victory; the English were allowed to leave the place with every honour, only their departure was delayed by the terms of the capitulation twenty days; and to secure their stay, the rudder of the Favourite was taken off. What they desired to carry away they removed without molestation; and of what they left an inventory was drawn, for which the Spanish officer by his receipt promised to be accountable. Of this petty revolution, so sudden and so distant, the English ministry could not possibly have such notice as might enable them to prevent it. The conquest, if such it may be called, cost but three days; for the Spaniards, either supposing the garrison stronger than it was, or resolving to trust nothing to chance, or considering that, as their force was greater, there was less danger of bloodshed, came with a power that made