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forces employed, or the skill of the generals conducting, we shall equally find matter for improvement and admiration. We shall see small kingdoms forced by the prudence of one man into an astonishing degree of power, and extensive countries scarcely able to support their own rights or repel the invader. But whatever these contentions may be thought of by others, they will never be regarded by Britons but as instances of her power, her bravery, and her successes. In this war England will appear in greater splendour than in any period of the most boasted antiquity; it will be seen to poize the fates of Europe, and bring its most potent and most ambitious states into the lowest degree of humiliation. This is a glory which should excite every lover of his country to celebrate as well as to share in. The desolation of war, the insolent severity of victors, and the servitude of those who happen to be overcome, have been often the topics of declamatory complaint, and employed the reasoner as well as the rhetorician: but still I should doubt whether even wars have not their benefits; whether they do not serve, as motion to waters, to depurate states of all, or a great number of vices, contracted by long habits of peace. If we attentively examine the records of history, we shall ever find that long indolence in any country was only productive of mischief; and that those very arts which were brought to perfection in peace, often served to introduce new vices with new luxury. The Roman state stood firm until Italy had no longer any enemies to fear: contented with enjoying the fruits of victory they no more desired to obtain it; their wars were carried on by mercenary soldiers, their armies were levied in distant provinces, and those very provinces at length became their masters. But to what purpose is it to cite ancient history, when we have so recent and so near an instance in the Dutch 2 That

people, once brave, enthusiasts in the cause of freedom, and able to make their state formidable to their neighbours, are, by a long continuance of peace, divided into faction, set upon private interest, and neither able nor willing to usurp its rights or revenge oppression. This may serve as a memorable instance of what may be the result of a total inattention to war, and an utter extirpation of martial ardour. Insulted by the French, threatened by the English, and almost universally despised by the rest of Europe— how unlike the brave peasants their ancestors, who spread terror into either India, and always declared themselves the allies of those who drew the sword in defence of freedom ''') The friendship between the English and the Dutch was at first conceived to be inseparable; they were termed, in the style of politicians, faithful friends, natural allies, protestant confederates, and by many other names of national endearment. Both had the same interest as opposed to France, and some resemblance of religion as opposed to popery; yet these were but slight ties with a nation whose only views were commerce. A rivalry in that will serve to destroy with them every connection. No merely mercantile man or mercantile nation has any friendship but for money; and an alliance between them will last no longer than their common safety or common profit is endangered; no longer than they have an enemy ready to deprive them of more than they can be able to steal from each other. A long continuance of property in the same channel is also very prejudicial to a nation. in such a state, emulation is in some measure destroyed, fortune seems to stand still with those who are already in possession of it, they who are rich have no need of an exertion of their abilities in order

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to preserve their wealth, and the poor must rest in hopeless indigence; but war gives a circulation to the wealth of a nation, the poor have many opportunities of bettering their fortune, and the rich must labour in order to support the necessary expenses required in defraying it. Thus all are in action; and emulative industry is the parent of every national virtue. A long continuance of peace in England was never productive of advantageous consequences; upon such occasions, we have ever seen her divided into factions, her senates becoming venal, and her ministers even avowing corruption. But when a foreign enemy appears, private animosities cease, factions are forgotten, and party rage is united against the common foe. I am not an advocate for war; but it were happy if mankind did not require such a scourge to keep them within those bounds which they ought to observe, with respect to their country and themselves. It is not likely, however, the English should relax into the abject state of debility of a neighbouring nation; they will ever have cause of distrust while France continues to cherish views of ambition—a nation that seems the enemy of Britain by nature. Different in religion, government, and disposition, it is almost impossible they can ever be thoroughly reconciled; and perhaps this rivalry will continue to preserve them both in circumstances of vigour and power, longer than any other nations recorded in history; since, from the situation of each country, it does not seem easy to conceive how the one will ever be able entirely to oppress the other. The system of politics at present pursued by the English may properly be said to have taken rise in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. At this time the Protestant religion was established, which then allied us to those countries who embraced the Reformation, and made all the Popish powers our enemies. A habit of politics once contracted is seldom discontinued ; thus, those connections which were at first made from religious motives, were still observed when religion was out of the question. The English began in the same reign to extend their trade, by which it became necessary to watch the commercial progress of their neighbours, and to hinder their own traffic from being impaired by too great an increase of that of their rivals. They then likewise settled colonies in America, which was become the great scene of European ambition; for, seeing with what treasures the Spaniards were annually enriched from Mexico and Peru, every nation imagined that an American conquest, or plantation, would pour the same quantity of riches into the mother country. This produced a large extent of very distant dominions, the advantage or incumbrance of which was not at this time foreseen. Every state, however, concluded itself more powerful as its dominions were enlarged. The discoveries of new regions, which were then every day made, the advantages of remote traffic, and, consequently, the desire of long voyages, produced in a few years a great multiplication of shipping. The sea came to be considered as the element of wealth ; and by degrees a new kind of sovereignty arose, called naval dominion. As the chief trade of the world so the chief maritime power was at first in the hands of the Spaniards and Portugueze, who, by a compact to which the consent of other princes was not asked, had divided the newly discovered countries between them; but the crown of Portugal having fallen to the King of Spain, or being seized by him, he was master of the ships of the two nations, with which he kept all the coasts of Europe in alarm, till the Armada which he had raised at a vast expense for the conquest of England was destroyed; which put a stop, and almost an end, to the naval power of the Spaniards. At this time the Dutch, oppressed by the Spaniards and fearing yet greater evils than they felt, resolved no longer to endure the insolence of their masters, and after a struggle, in which they were assisted by the money and forces of England, erected an independant and at that time powerful commonwealth. When the inhabitants of the Low Countries had formed their system of government, and some remission from the war gave them leisure to form schemes of future prosperity, they easily perceived that, as their territories were narrow and their numbers few, they could preserve themselves only by wealth, and that this wealth was to be acquired only by commerce. From this necessity so justly estimated, arose a plan of commerce, which was for many years prosecuted with industry and success, perhaps never seen in the world before. By this, the poor tenants of mud-walled villages and impassable marshes erected themselves into high and mighty states; who put the greatest monarchs at defiance, whose alliance was courted by the proudest, and whose power dreaded by the fiercest nations. By the establishment of this state, England saw a new ally, but at the same time a new rival. At this time, which seems to be the period destined for the change of the face of Europe, France began to rise into power; and instead of dreading the insults and invasions of England (as was formerly the case), she was not only able to maintain her own territories, but prepared on all occasions to invade others—dead to every sense of liberty herself, yet disposed to deprive all others who possessed it. Such was the state of England and its neighbours, when Elizabeth left the crown to James of Scotland. The union of the two kingdoms happened at a very critical

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