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juncture. Had England and Scotland continued separate kingdoms when France was established in the full possession of her newly acquired power, the Scots, upon every instigation of the French court, would have raised an army with the money of France, and harassed England with an invasion, in which they would have thought themselves successful, whatever numbers they might have left behind them. To a people warlike and indigent, an incursion into a rich country is never hurtful. The pay of France, and the plunder of the northern counties, would always have tempted them to hazard their lives; and England would have been subject to continual alarms, from ambition on one side and avarice on the other. This trouble, however, we escaped, by the accession of King James; but it is uncertain whether his natural disposition did not injure us more than this accidental good-fortune benefited us. He was a man of some speculative knowledge, but no practical wisdom; he was able to discern the true interest of himself, his kingdom, and his posterity, but sacrificed it upon all occasions to his present pleasure or his present ease; so conscious of his own knowledge and abilities, that he would not suffer a minister to govern, and yet so very inattentive or so timorous, that he was unable to govern himself. With such dispositions, James calmly saw the Dutch invade our commerce; the French grew every day stronger and stronger, and the Protestant interest, of which he boasted himself the head, was oppressed on every side. James, however, took care to be flattered at home, and was neither angry nor ashamed at the figure he made, and at the jests thrown out against him in other countries. England, therefore, grew weaker, or, what amounts to the same thing, saw her neighbours grow stronger, without receiving proportionable additions to her own power. Not that the mischief was so great as is generally conceived or represented; for to the attentive it will appear, that the wealth of this nation was at that period considerably increased, though that of the crown was less. Our reputation for war was impaired; but commerce seems to have been carried on with great industry and vigour, and nothing was wanting but a generous spirit of resentment, or rather self-defence. The inclination to plant colonies in America still continued; and this being the only project in which men of adventure and enterprise could exert their qualities in a pacific reign, multitudes who were discontented with their condition in their native country—and such multitudes there will always be—sought relief, or at least change, in the regions of America, where they settled on the northern part of the continent, at a distance from the Spaniards—at that time almost the only nation that had power or will to obstruct us. Such was the condition of this country at the accession of Charles I. During a reign so turbulent, it was not to be expected that commerce could flourish ; wherefore, while the English were, during these unhappy times, embroiled among themselves, the power of France and Holland was every day encreasing. The Dutch had overcome the difficulties of their infant commonwealth, and, as they still retained their vigour and industry, every day encreased in riches and power—the attendant of well regulated opulence. They extended their traffic, and had not yet admitted luxury; so that they had the means and the will to accumulate wealth, without any incitement to spend it. The French, who wanted nothing to make them powerful but a prudent regulation of their revenues and a proper use of their natural advantages, by the successive care of skilful ministers, became every day stronger and more conscious of their strength. They turned their thoughts to traffic and navigation, and seemed, like other nations, sensible of the advantages of an American colony. All the fruitful and valuable parts of the western world were already either occupied or claimed, and nothing remained for France but what other navigators had thought unworthy of their notice: she was contented, therefore, to fix upon Canada, a desolate northern country, as yet claimed by no other power; for she was not yet arrived at that pitch of influence as to seize what the neighbouring powers had already appropriated. When the parliament of England had at length prevailed over the King, the interest of the two commonwealths of England and Holland appeared to be opposite, and the new government declared war against the Dutch. In this contest was exerted the utmost power of the two nations, and the Dutch were finally defeated, yet not with such evidence of superiority as left us much reason to boast of our victory; they were obliged, however, to solicit peace, which was granted them on easy conditions, and Cromwell, who was now possessed of the supreme power, was left at leisure to pursue other designs. The European powers had not yet ceased to look with envy on the Spanish acquisitions in America, and therefore Cromwell thought that if he gained any part of those celebrated regions, he should exalt his own reputation and enrich the country. He therefore quarrelled with the Spaniards upon such pretences as were only the result of an inclination for war, and sent Penn and Venables into the western seas. They first landed in Hispaniola, whence they were driven off with no great reputation to themselves; and that they might not return without having done something, they afterwards invaded Jamaica, where they found less resistance, and obtained that Island, which was afterwards consigned to us, being probably of little value to the Spaniards, but which to us is the source of great wealth, and a retreat for the discontented at home. The endeavour to distress Spain was at this time an error in the politics of Cromwell. They had, for more than half a century, fallen from their pristine greatness, while France seemed as if rising upon their ruins. To distress them, therefore, was the only way to encrease the power of France: but our own troubles gave us little time to look upon the continent, nordid we consider that, of two monarchs, neither of which could be long our friend, it was our interest to have the weaker near us; or, that if a war should happen, Spain, however wealthy or strong in herself, was, by the dispersion of her territories, more obnoxious to the attacks of a naval power, and consequently, had more to fear, and less power to injure. During this time, however, our colonies, which were less disturbed by our commotions than the mother country, naturally encreased: it is probable that many who were unhappy at home took shelter in those remote regions, where, for the sake of inviting greater numbers, every one was permitted to live and think in their own way. The French settlement, in the mean time, went slowly forward; too inconsiderable to raise any jealousy, and too weak to attempt any encroachments. During the reign of Charles II. the power of France was every day encreasing; and as he never disturbed himself with remote consequences, he saw the progress of her arms and the extension of her dominions with very little uneasiness. He was, indeed, sometimes driven by the prevailing faction into confederacies against her; but, as he probably had a secret prepossession in her favour, he never persevered long in acting against her, nor ever acted with much vigour; so that by his feeble resistance, he rather raised her confidence than obstructed her designs. But that we may not condemn other countries as wanting perseverance or wisdom, who took no such large strides to establish commerce and navigation as France, it must be considered, that their ministers had a power of acting, which freer governments do not allow. They could enforce all their orders by the power of an absolute monarch, and compel individuals to sacrifice their private profit for the public good; they could make one understanding preside over many hands, and remove difficulties by quick and violent expedients. Where no man thinks himself under any obligation to submit to another, and, instead of co-operating in one great scheme, every one hastens through by paths of private profit, no great change can suddenly be made; nor is superior knowledge of much effect, where every man resolves to use his own eyes and his own judgment, and every one applauds himself only in proportion as he becomes richer than his neighbour. Colonies are always the effects and the causes also of navigation. They who visit many countries will be always inclined to settle in some ; and these settlements once made must keep a perpetual correspondence with the original country to which they are subject, and on which they depend for protection when in danger, and for supplies when in necessity. So that a country once discovered must always find employment for shipping, more certainly than any foreign commerce which, depending on casualties, it is in the power of the nations so traded to, to suppress. A trade to colonies can never be much impaired, being in reality only an intercourse between distant provinces of the same empire, from which intruders are easily excluded; likewise

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