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.

I cannot quit the West-India Article, without giving the Reader some Account of the French Power there.

The Principal Colony they have on the Terra Firma, is in Canada; they are there Absolute Masters of the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and have the Navigation of that vast River up to the Falls, and have Travers’d those Cataracts, and the Lakes beyond them, as far as they have either found it possible, or at least worth their while to Discover.

’Tis necessary the Reader should know here, that this huge River of Canada, whose beginning no Man could ever yet Discover, Descends out of certain vast Lakes, which [138] whether they are Seas themselves, or have a Communication with the South Seas, we are yet uncertain. Our Geographers tell us of the vast Waters found out, and Lakes 100 Leagues over, and more beyond them, viz. Lac Superieur, which they could never Discover the Extent of; and Monsieur Sanson, in his Maps of North America, gives us French Names to Places above 1000 Miles from the Mouth of the Bay.

This vast River running thus thro’ the very Center of North America, and bending its Course from the Latitude of 36, to 53, and yet keeping its Course almost due North West, must of Course lie Parallel to the Sea, upon the Coast of our Colonies; and so New-England, New York, and all our Territory down to the Capes of Virginia, make one Grand Peninsula, joyn’d by a Neck of Land, lin’d out from the head of Chesapeack Bay, to the Lake D’Iroquois, or farther if ye please, from the Mountains behind Virginia, to the Lac Eric, or St. Joseph.

This short Description was necessary, that the Reader may understand, That as the French are thus Masters of the River, they lye just behind all our English Settlements, upon the Continent of America.

The Consequence of this, is, That they have thereby an opportunity, and very often improve it, of stirring up the Indians to make Depredations, and Insult our Plantations, and to that purpose have supply’d them with Fire-Arms, Ammunition, and especially Rum, for their Encouragement.

If I am not mistaken, our People at New York, who by convenience of Hudson’s River, have a Navigation 150 Miles up the Country, and a Colony dependant of New York, call’d New Albany, have in some Rencounters, met the French in the Field, joyn’d with Indians of their own Confederacy.

’Tis true, they have never come down in Numbers sufficient to endanger the Place, but they have interrupted the Trade of that River very much, and almost destroy’d the Beaver Trade, which was driven at Albany with good Success, and being a Trade wholly manag’d by the Indians, sunk of Course.

In short, the increasing Power of the French in those Parts, makes our Colonies very uneasy, and in time may be more Fatal to them, than they yet apprehend; from whence I hope it won’t be taken amiss if I observe,

Those People who think ’tis not our Interest to increase our Plantations on the Continent of America, would do well to reflect on the Consequences of this, in future Ages, and for which Posterity may have Reason to blame us.

The French, with the utmost Application, increase their Colonies behind us, and their Plantations and Settlements are strangely extended, in the Compass of a few past Years; if then they increase, and ours by Discouragement and Impolitick Methods stand at a stay, whenever the Magnitude of their Colonies shall equal or exceed ours, we have but an equal Lot for it, whether they shall not supplant and dispossess us.

’Tis plain already, they are so strong, we cannot dispossess them; it was Attempted in the Reign of the late King, by Sir William Phips, with a Squadron of Men of War, and other Vessels from New England; but whether Superiority of Force, or the Mis-conduct of the Party, the General Fate of English Expeditions, was the true Reason, or what other Reason might be given for it, I know not; the Design miscarried, prov’d Abortive, and they came as wise as they went, tho’ not without loss.

If then all our Force cannot now Supplant them, their Force, which visibly increases, may in time turn the Tables, and Attack us; and this they will do by Land, with unequal Advantage, because our Plantations are open and fortified, Rich and worth Pillaging, and we cannot return them the like, the River lying between us and them.

Upon this score, I cannot pass it by without observing, that it nearly concerns England, to Encourage by all possible Methods, the increase of our Colonies in America, that the growing French Power may never be able to dispossess us there; if they should, they would immediately Starve our Islands, destroy our Trade, and quite exclude us from the Navigation of the those Seas.

’Tis Natural to ask here, but how shall we increase our Colonies?


I confess the Question is Natural, and I have my Answers ready; but as that again relates not to a Review of the Affairs of France, I omit entering upon it, tho’ not without some Constraint upon my self; and only tell the Reader; That as I have had some Years by me in Manuscript, Heads of Improvement in Trade, for the increase of our Plantations; any that are desirous, shall have a fight of them at the Printer’s of this Paper: but the Subject being too long to enter upon here, and something remote from the Design, it cannot be proper to enter upon that Head.

The next, and I think the only Settlement the French have upon the North of America, is on the Island of Terra Nova, call’d by us New-found-Land, which is a large Island, about as big as Ireland, at the Mouth of the Great River of Canada, where they have some Forts to secure their Colony; but as the Fishing Trade is the main Design here, neither they nor the English, for we are settled on the same Island, concern themselves much, with Planting the Country; neither is the Place itself worth it, the Barrenness of the Soil and Coldness of the Climate making it not useful to them.

The French have here so great a Trade for Fish, that some Years there are 3 to 500 Sail of Ships laden in a Season; a Trade easily destroy’d, Settlement and all, by the English, if our Mastership of the Seas was rightly improv’d.

Among the Islands the French have no small share, Martinico, Guadalupe, and St. Christopher’s, are the Chief, and very considerable.

They had a Colony on the South-side of Hispaniola, which in the late War was Ruin’d by the English, under Collonel Lillingstone, in Conjunction with the Spaniards during the late War, and their Fort of Port a Paix was Taken and Demolish’d, and all their Plantations Ruin’d: whether they have Rebuilt it since the Peace or not, I cannot be Certain.

But I am the rather inclin’d to mention this little Conquest, because it seems Rational to infer, that as Collonel Lillingstone has but 1000 Men with him there, besides the Spaniards, and yet in six weeks dispossess’d the French of that whole Colony, and took their Fort by a formal Siege; with the same ease, were there a necessary Vigour in the Management, and Honesty in the Execution of our Designs, they might have been remov’d from all their Island Colonies.

Instead whereof, they have not only maintain’d Vigorously their own Plantations, but have reliev’d, supported and supply’d the Spaniards in the Bay of Mexico, preserv’d them an open Trade, and put ’em into such a Posture, that they bid Defyance to our Attempts; and the most Profitable Article of this Spanish War, at least in Prospect, render’d of no use to us at all.

ADVICE from the Scandalous CLUB.

THe Society receiv’d a Letter from a Gentleman, sign’d J. J. tho’ as ’tis supposed different from the Person who has formerly written Letters to us, sign’d in the same manner.

This Letter makes an Exception against our Title, Scandalous Club, but gives us some reason to believe, the Gentleman did not read our Answer to the like Objection, and Publish’d in a former Paper.

Wherefore the Society referrs him back to the same; and if he pleases to Answer, or Confute what is said there, in Defence of our Title, a farther Vindication of it shall be undertaken in our next: But till that is done, they cannot satisfy themselves with repeating the same thing twice, because ’tis what they Censure in other People.

The Society then took into Consideration a Complaint, made by a Certain Gentleman against the Brewers about the Town, for Brewing on Sundays; and brought one along with him, whom he charg’d with the Fact.

The Brewer Answered for himself;

1. That he thought it as Lawful to Brew the Beer on Sundays, as for his Customers [140] to sell it, or the Church-Wardens to drink it on the same days.

2. That if he was Guilty, he told the Society, he thought they were not Compotent Judges of it; the Man might go before my L—d M—r.

The society readily agreed to that, and ask’d the Gentleman, What was the Reason he did not go before my L—d M—r, or some other Justice, with his Complaint? The Gentleman Answer’d, for several Reasons:

1. He said, because my L–– M––r was a Brewer.

2. Because most of the Criminals were Aldermens Fellows, which he had lately read in the Review¸ was an excuse for W–ing, and he thought might very well pass for an excuse for Brewing on Sundays.

3. Because the Church-Wardens of the Parish refused to go with him, being both Drunk on Sunday last, in an Ale-House, where they had raised 15 Shillings of People they found Tipling; and they would not stir, till they had spent all the Money.

The Society allow’d the Reasons, but told the Gentleman, They had no Power to redress him, but were very sorry they could not, and promis’d to Print the Case.

A Gentleman from Oxfordshire, sent the Society the following Letter, which he says, he is ready to give a sufficient Proof of, if there be occasion.

WHILE the Teaching as well as the Correcting Guides of the People, continue to shew such sooty Examples, your Generous Essays to Reform ’em, will be fruitless; Witness the P—n of B—f—ld led homeward from an Ale-house between two Wenches, in crossing the Church-Yard, threw himself on his back and bestowed the following Poetical γποτδπωπς on himself:
Here lyes the Body of Th—s D—d ,
He is not Dead but Drunk by G–d.
I am the second Relator from one of the Witnesses: ’tis some Months since the Fact, and Proof is producible. If worth your Notice you have my leave to Cook and serve up the Story as you please
Who am,
Yours to Serve you,

ADvertisements are taken in by J. Matthews, in Pilkington-Court in Little Britain.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S.

THe Practice of Physick, reduc’d to the Ancient way of Observations; Containing a just parallel between the Wisdom and Experience of the Ancients, and the Hypothesis’s of Modern Physicians. Intermix’d with many Practical Remarks upon most Distempers; together with several New and Curious Dissertations, particularly of the Tarantula, and the Nature of its Poison; Of the Use and Abuse of Blistering-Plaisters; Of Epidemical Apoplexies, &c. Written in Latin, by Geo. Baglivi, M.D. Professor of Physick and Anatomy at Rome. 8vo. Printed for Jeffery Wale, at the Angel in St. Paul’s Church-Yard.

Just publish’d,

CAssandra: (but I hope not) Telling what will come of it. Part I. In Answer to the Occasional Letter: Numb. I. Wherein the New Associations, &c. are considered.

Numb. II. is in the Press, and will be publish’d next Tuesday.

Lately publish’d,

More short ways with the Dissenters. price 6d.

Just publish’d,

A Letter from a Country Justice to an Alderman of the City of London, concerning the Bishop of Salisbury’s Speech in the House of Lords upon the Bill against Occasional Conformity. price 6d.

THe Almirante of Castile’s Manifesto. Containing, I. The Reasons of his Withdrawing himself out of Spain. II. The Intrigues and Management of the Cardinal Portocarrero, and Don Manuel d’Arias, about the Will of King Charles the Second, to Advance the Duke d’Anjou to the Possession of that Crown. III. The Government of Cardinal Portocarrero, &c. after the King’s death. IV. The Designs of France against Spain. V. the Manner of the Admiral’s making his Escape into Portugal. VI. And his Proceedings at Lisbon. Faithfully Translated from the Original Printed in Spanish at Lisbon, since the Arrival there of King Charles III. London, Printed, and sold by John Nutt, near Stationers-Hall. 1704.

+++ A Doctor in Physick Cures all the Degrees and Indispositions in Venereal Persons, by a most easie, safe, and expeditious Method; and of whom any Person may have Advice, and a perfect Cure, let his or her Disease be of the longest Date: He likewise gives his Advice in all Diseases, and prescribes a Cure. Dr. HARBOROUGH, (a Graduate Physician) in Great Knight-Riders-street, near Doctors Commons.


1 comment

1 Natalie { 08.02.07 at 10:18 am }

Certainly trade is key not only to Defoe’s general literary production, but to the emergence of periodical news-writing as such. This takes us back to Habermas‘s thesis. Trade creates a broader strata of capitalist development, one that requires a mechanism for understanding interests abroad (if nothing else, for determining the stocks in which to invest). For Habermas, a consequence (or a cause?) of this need for information is the emergence of the rational-critical debate enabled by emergent print culture and a reading public.

“At the same time, the great merchants outgrew the confining framework of the towns and in the form of companies linked themselves directly with the state. [...] This stratum of ‘bourgeois’ was the real carrier of the public, which from the outset was a reading public” (23). See also chapter three of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.

Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Trans. Thomas Burger. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.

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