Category — Trade

Saturday, June 17. 1704.

Numb. 30.

THe conclusion of the last, referr’d us to examine what a Condition our Colonies and Plantations would have been in, according to common Conjecture, in Case the French had been what we pretend to be, viz. Masters of the Sea.

’Tis hard to say all that would have happened; but these few Consequences will, I presume, be granted us.

1. A General Interruption of Commerce, with all its Circumstances and Concomitants – God knows, ’tis but so so, that our Trade is maintain’d as it is; Ships are detain’d, Convoys backward, abundance run the risque without Convoy, and fall into the Enemies hands; the dearness of our Sugars, and all the several Commodities which are the Growth of our Colonies, are a Demonstration of the Interruption of our Commerce; and if the French were Masters at Sea, ’tis easier to guess how it would be with us, than ’twould be to support the Charge of it: If we lose abundance of our Ships now, we should have none come safe then; if we pay a great price for our Sugars now, we should have none then for our Money, unless we bought them of our Enemies. In short, if the French were Masters at Sea, as we should have no Trade to the Plantations, so we should have no Plantations to Trade to, in a few Years; for they would not be such ill Husbands of the Advantage as we are.

2. The Interruption of Commerce in our West Indies, would infallibly starve our Plantations. The Terra Firma would be ruin’d for want of Trade, and the Islands for want of Food; one would be starv’d for want of a Market for their Corn, and the other for want of Corn for their Market. [Read more →]

June 17, 2008   No Comments

Tuesday, June 13. 1704.

Numb. 29.

THe Frontiers of France, which now remain to finish the Circle drawn round the whole Monarchy, respect only the Coats, since the Borders on the Spanish side, Fortified by the Pyrenees, are more the Work of Nature than of Art.

’Tis true, there are some strong tho’ small Towns, on the Edge of Rousillon, and the Borders of Catalonia; but the French having always been Agressors there, and frequently pierced Catalonia, even to the subduing the whole Province two or three times; as they have the more neglected their Frontiers, so the restoring the Memory of Leucates.

Other such Places on the Passes of the Frontiers here, would serve very little to the Instruction of the Reader, which is the main End of this, and all profitable History.

It is easy to look back in History, to a time when all France was full of Fortified Places, and every great Town was also a strong Town; and when we come back to the History of the Wars with the Hugonots, and to the Famous Sieges of those Times, the Relation will of Course, be a Description of those Places of Strength. [Read more →]

June 13, 2008   No Comments

Tuesday, April 11. 1704.

Numb. 11.

THe Debate I entred into, about the Banishment of the Hugonots out of France, was so abruptly broken off in the last, that I must go on with it here, and repeat this part as necessary to lead the Reader back into the Story. That I am of the Opinion, the King of France’s Banishing the Protestants, tho’ it Impoverish’d and Unpeopled part of the Country; and tho’ it fill’d his Enemies with Soldiers, yet at the same time it was the most Politick Action of his Life, and the Foot upon which he now builds that Absolute Dominion, which is so necessary for the carrying on all his vast Designs.

I don’t think fit to engage here in a Dispute about the honesty of it, I agree to all that has been reasonably said to that point; and without doubt, the breaking and dissolving the Edict of Nants, is an Injury not to be Defended.

But as to the Policy of it: ’Tis plain it was so great a Stroke to all Europe, that all his Attempts since have been founded upon this Head; for till he had first cleared his Country of that Numerous Injured People, he could never have ventured to carry an Offensive War into all the Borders of Europe: Nor could he have spared his Numerous Armies, for so many various Enterprizes; he must have maintained strong Garrisons in the Provinces of Guienne, Gascoign, Languedoc, Normandy, Bretaign, &c. where the Protestants were Numerous, to have kept the Rod of Iron upon their Backs, and every Revolt would have hazarded a Revolution of his Affairs.

This needs no other Demonstration, than from the Present Disturbance his Affairs have receiv’d from the smallest handful of these People, in the Mountains of Languedoc. These Camisars, who, according to the largest Accounts I have met with, which I think deserve Credit, never amounted to above 900 Families, have occasioned the Attendance of a Mareshal of France, 18 Battalions of Foot, and 2 Regiments of Dragoons, for near 2 Years. [Read more →]

April 11, 2008   1 Comment

Saturday, April 8. 1704.

Numb. 10.

THE General Head I am upon, is the wonderful Benefit of Arbitrary Power; and methinks I need not make an Apology here, and tell the Reader again, that I do not mean the Benefit to the Subject; but that I distinguish between the Greatness of the Monarch as a King, and the Greatness of a Nation as a People: But such is the Iniquity of the Times, that ’tis Dangerous to walk on the Brink of a tender Point.

I dare not say, that all our good Friends who are so very full of the Word Arbitrary Government, understand the Meaning of it; and possibly their want of rightly Understanding it, may have been the Reason of their Mistaking the just Power of a lawful Prince, for the Real Bug-bear we speak of; and the People who are of this sort, generally are for allowing their Governours little or no Power at all, and perhaps in the end, would be for no Governours at all.

I am far from giving Arbitrary Power a Character to recommend it to the Subject: But without doubt, That Prince, whose Designs center in his own Projects, enlarging his Dominions, and in the Conquest of his Neighbours; there is nothing can contribute more to this end, than a Despotick Arbitrary Dominion over his Subjects, whereby he obliges them, without any Reserve, to Comply with whatever he demands; to give what he asks; to go where he sends; and to do what he directs.

When a Prince must court his Subjects to give him leave to raise an Army, and when that’s done, tell him when he must disband them; That if he wants Money, must Assemble the States of his Country, and not only give them good words to get it, and tell them what ’tis for, but give them an Account how it is expended, before he calls for more. The Subjects in such a Government are certainly Happy, in having their Properties and Privileges secur’d; but if I were of his Privy-Council, I would advise such a Prince to content himself within the Compass of his own Government, and never think of Invading his Neighbours, or Increasing his Dominions: For Subjects, who Stipulate with their Princes, and make Conditions of Government, who Claim to be Govern’d by Laws, and make those Laws themselves; who need not pay their Money, but when they see Cause, and may refuse to pay it when demanded, without their Consent; such Subjects will never Empty their Purses upon Foreign Wars, for enlarging the Glory of their Sovereign. If [54] such People are free to Fight, or Pay, it is always for the Defence and Security of their own, not for the Conquests and Glories of their Prince. [Read more →]

April 8, 2008   1 Comment