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of May annually. Each trooping horse freed from rates and impresses. Disorders on training days, may be punished by laying neck and heel, riding the wooden horse, or 15 s. The fines to be applied for colours, drummers, halberts, banners, trumpeters, and other charges of the company. The colony to provide a magazine of powder and shot, and the select-men of each town to provide military stores for their towns.
There never was any militia within this colony on a legal establishment; what not long ago appeared and made such a show by their numbers, were only voluntiers commissioned by the gov
The quakers have always been about three quarters of the assembly, though in number perhaps not exceeding one quarter of the people; the quakers artfully persuade the Dutch and Germans, that if they chuse others than quakers for their representatives, they would immediately have a militia law imposed on them, which would subject them to greater slavery, than what they suffered in their own country. .
William Douglass, A Summary British Settlements in North America (London, 1755), II. 178-179, 326 passim.
6. Activity, the Salvation of a
An Irish member of Parliament and one of the greatest English political writers; he steadfastly defended the side of the colonies.
I HOPE it will be forgiven me, if I add a remark upon the conduct of the court of Spain with regard to this great man. Though, as we saw all along, this conduct was equally injust and impolitick, sorry I am, that no lesson of instruction can be drawn from the event, which was in all respects as fortunate, as the measures pursued were ungrateful and imprudent. But there was a coincidence of events at that time, which does not always happen so opportunely to justify an ungrateful and narrow policy. It is certain that some men are so possessed with their designs, that when once engaged, nothing can discourage them in the pursuit. But great and frequent discouragements are examples to others, which will at least certainly have an effect, and will terrify men from forming such designs at all. Then the spirit of invention and enterprize dies away; then things begin to stagnate and to corrupt; for it is a rule as invariable in politicks as it is in nature, that a want of proper motion does not breed rest and stability, but motion of another kind, a motion unseen and intestine, which does not preserve but destroy. The best form and settlement of a state, and every regulation within it, obeys the same universal law; and the only way to prevent all things from going to decay, is by continually aiming to better them in some respect or other; (since if they are not better, they will surely be worse,) and to afford an attentive ear to every project for this purpose. I am sensible that it must frequently happen, that many of these projects will be chimerical in themselves, and offered by a people of an appearance and manner not very prejudicing in their favour. But then I am satisfied too, that these men must in the nature of-things have something odd and singular in their character, who expose themselves, and desert the common and certain roads of gain, in pursuit of advantages not certain to the publick, and extremely doubtful to themselves.
It is equally true, that if such people are encouraged, a number of visionary schemes will be offered. But it is the character of pride and laziness to reject all offers, because some are idle, as it is of weakness and credulity to listen to all without distinction. But surely, if judgment is to have any share in our conduct, it is the province of judgment to sift, to examine, to distinguish the useful from the foolish, the feasible from the impracticable, and even in the midst of the visions of a fruitful and disordered brain, to pick out matter which a wise man will know how to qualify and turn to use, though the inventor did not.
Cromwell, partly from his circum.stances, but more from his genius and disposition, received daily a number of proposals of this kind, which always approached him in a fanatical dress, and were mixed frequently with matters the most remote from probability and good sense; and we know that he made a signal use of many things of this kind.
Colbert spent much of his time in hearing every scheme for the extending of commerce, the improvement of manufactures, and the advancement of arts; spared no pains or expence to put them in execution, and bountifully rewarded and encouraged the authors of them. By these means France advanced during the reign of Lewis the fourteenth, and under this minister more than it had done in many reigns before; and by these means, in the midst of wars, which brought that kingdom and all Europe to the brink of destruction; amidst many defaults in the royal character, and many errors in his government, a seed of industry and enterprize was sown, which on the first respite of the publick calamities, and even whilst they oppressed that nation, rose to produce that flourishing internal and external commerce and power, that distinguishes France, and forms it's strength at this day, tho' a less active reign, and ministers of a different character have succeeded. On the contrary, it was always the character of the court of Spain to proceed very slowly, if at all, in any improvement; and to receive schemes for that purpose with coldness and disdain. The effects upon the power of that monarchy were answerable with regard to America, the conquest as well as the discovery was owing wholly to private men; the court contributed nothing but pretensions and patents.
Edmund Burke, An Account of the European Settlements in America (London, 1757), I. 60-63.
7. Oppose but Esteem Your Enemy
(See note above, p. 230.)
I HAVE dwelt the longer upon the French policy as it regards their colonies, because it is just to give due honour to all those, who advance the intercourse of mankind, the peopling of the earth, and the advantage of their country by wise and effectual regulations. But I principally insist upon it, that it may, if possible, serve for an example to ourselves; that it may excite an emulation in us; that it may help to rouse us out