Category — Caribbean

Tuesday, June 20. 1704.

Numb. 31.
[137] Page numbers [137] – [140] are incorrectly numbered in all extant copies. The printed pages read [135] – [138]. There are no pages numbered [139] or [140]. Numb. 32 begins with page [141].

OUr last made some Digression on the Success of the French Affairs in the Seas of America; it might be expected I should make some Apology for what of that Paper relates to our own Affairs; but they that look for it here, will be mistaken, since I cannot be sensible of any Impropriety of Story; for as I am upon describing the French Greatness, and their extraordinary Conduct, in every part of their Government; I cannot think any Man could expect such a History could be Written, without some part of it, being a Satyr upon our selves.

I have promis’d the World, after I have gone thro’ this Tedious and Terrible Article of the French Power, to enter upon an enquiry, how it came to be so great; and tho’ in the Performance I shall be as Tender of our own Character in England as I can; yet I cannot believe any Rational Man can expect I can perform that Promise, without touching upon the Follies and Mistakes of the rest of Europe; of which the French Wisdom and Policy having taken the Advantage, they have been so made the Principal Instruments of advancing the Enemies Power, upon the Ruins of their own – And, for this is what I mean, how I shall be able to do this, and pass by a¬ll our English Errors, I yet know not; or how I shall do to please those People, who think we have made no Mistakes, or those that think we have, I ought not to meddle with them, I am further at a loss.

All the remedy for this Matter, is Truth of Fact, which I shall first keep close to, and then endeavour to pursue as decently, and with as much Respect to Parties, as an Historian’s Duty will permit, and for the rest, I shall borrow a Publick Inscription to stand by,

Lector fastidiosus sibi Molestus.

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June 20, 2008   1 Comment

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