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P R E F A CE.
* *HE following is an attempt, to
feparate what is substantial and
material, from what is circum. B
ftantial and useless, in history, *RAR* That of the late war forms the brightest period of any in the British annals, and the author has endeavoured to do it jus tice, by the manner in which he has recorded the feveral transactions, and the impartiality he has observed. As to the first, it is matter of opinion, and he must stand or fall by the judgment of his readers. His own intention acquits him of every charge with re. gard to the latter. He is fensible, that in many passages, he has the prepossessions of party to encounter, and the fame must have been his fate, had he adopted different opinions. He disclaims all systems in politics, and has been guided in his narrative by matters of fact only. In his reflections and conjectures, where his own lights failed
him, he had recounse to those who were most capable of giving him proper information, and he has the fatisfaction to believe, that when the prejudices of party are • buried with their authors, the following pages, whatever defects they may have in point of composition, , will be acquitted of everyl imputation of partiality; as rational entertainment, and undeviating candour, have been his only objects.
This Review was first published in the Reading Mercury, and parcelled out every week in that paper, till compleated, when the Gentlemen, who had thus read it, thought so well of the work, that they desired to have it reprinted, in this manner, that they might again purchase it, in a more convenient form. The Author thinks himself obliged to those Gentlemen, for the good opii nion they entertain of his abilities and impartiality, and hopes their testimony will in some measure recommend his labours to the notice of the public,
*****HE French, while they pretend to
* * instruct the rest of mankind in the * T * arts, have learnt the nobleft of them ** ** all from Great Britain, I mean that **** of civil polity, or the art of encreasa
ing national riches, power, and ina Auence at home and abroad. She faw all her attempts for universal monarchy defeated by the affistance and protection given by England, a commercial nation, to the other states of Europe, and therefore judging that commerce was the fource of real power, she applied herfelf to its cultivation. During the long administration of Cardinal Fleury, the French commerce was ine eredibly extended; but the pride and ambition of the Princes of the Blood, and their great nobi: lity, (the late Marshal de Belleille in particular)
drove that ministeri from his pacific plans, and 5 France renewed her expensive operations in a land war on the continent.
It appeared, during the course of that war, that Fleury had not taken measures for protecting the commerce which he had so greatly extended, nor could we have been sensible of the vast trade which France then carried on, but from the prodigious toffes it sustained by our marine. This counter balanced all the successes of their arms on the continent of Europe; and, at the peace of Aixla-Chapelle, the whole fyftem of continental power was altered. France gave up, or demos" lished, that barrier, which for so many years might: have been termed the cock-pit of Europe, from the many millions of lives facrificed to acquire or d fend it, and she agreed to the conferences of Aix-la-Chapelle, merely with the insidious view of gaining leisure for pursuing her coinmercial schemes, and retrieving that error, which had proved fo fatal to her during the war, I mean her inability to defend her trade, ***. Hot : : With those two views that treaty was begun and conducted on the part of France. Her great fcheme was,. that nothing definitive should be: concluded. She was aware, that our pofleffion of Nova Scotia had been too loofely stipulated by the treaty of Utrecht, and that it was liable; at leaft, to fome cavils, though nothing can be more certain from the spirit, and even from the words of that treaty, than that it.comprehended all the lands claimed by the English, and that when the treaty of Utrecht was executed, the English, in consequence of that claim, took porsession of all Nova Scotia, or Acadia, in prefence of the French commissaries, as appears by the report on zoth of August, 1714. I'LL "ii "!ii. s. It
It is not our intention to enter here into a mi nute disquisition of the particulars of that contest, which were afterwards fully discusled in the ftate papers. It is sufficient to say, that the Englith, by the confession of the French themselves, had an infinite superiority in point of argument, notwithstanding the vast disadvantages they were under from their ignorance of the places in question, and the arbitrary maps and charts (without the least foundation of truth to support them) fabricated and produced by their adversaries. The British plenipotentiaries at Aixla-Chapelle, li.tle dreaming, perhaps, of the confequences, or the importance of the discussion, referred the limits of Acadia, or Nova Scotia, to be settled in conferences between the commissaries of the two nations at Paris. Our proposed brevity will not admit of particularizing the various shifts and shufflings of the French commiflaries, who proceeded on the same indecisive plan with that of their plenipotentiaries at Aix-laChapelle, that they might amuse Great Britain, while France was encroaching upon her property in North America, and fortifying her encroachments in such a manner, as to bid defiance to all that the negociation could effect. It soon appeared, that they pretended to the possession of all the vast country between Canada and Louisiana, and were building 'a chain of forts, to maintain that possession, and to exclude the British traders from all communication with their back settlements. In short, under pretence of having discovered the mouths of the Miffissippi, they claimed all the country towards New Niexico on the east, extending to the Apalachian or Aligany mountains on the west, 'Those claims were in direct violation of the rights of the crown of Great Britain, whose subjects had been the first discoverers