« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
wholly in their Power, whom they restored at the Peace to their former Poffeffions, that they may continue to export our Silver.
Cape-Breton therefore was reftored, and the French were re-established in America, with equal Power and greater Spirit, having loft nothing by the War which they had before gained.
To the general Reputation of their Arms, and that habitual Superiority which they derive from it, they owe their Power in America, rather than to any real Strength, or Circumstances of Advantage. Their Numbers are yet not great; their Trade, though daily improved, is not very extenfive; their Country is barren; their Fortreffes, though numerous, are weak, and rather Shelters from wild Beasts, or favage Nations, than Places built for Defence against Bombs or Cannons. Cape-Breton has been found not to be impregnable; nor, if we confider the State of the Places poffeffed by the two Nations in America, is there any Reafon upon which the French fhould have prefumed to moleft us, but that they thought our Spirit fo broken that we durft not refift them; and in this Opinion our long Forbearance eafily confirmed them.
We forgot, or rather avoided to think, that what we delayed to do must be done at laft, and done with more Difficulty, as it was delayed longer; that while we were complaining, and they were eluding, or answering our Complaints, Fort was rifing upon Fort, and one Invafion made a Precedent for another.
This Confidence of the French is exalted by fome real Advantages. If they poffefs in those Countries lefs than we, they have more to gain, and lefs to hazard; if they are lefs numerous, they are better united.
The French compofe one Body with one Head, They have all the fame Intereft, and agree to purfue
it by the fame Means. They are fubject to a Governor commiffioned by an abfolute Monarch, and participating the Authority of his Mafter, Designs are therefore formed without Debate, and executed without Impediment. They have yet more martial than mercantile Ambition, and feldom fuffer their military Schemes to be entangled with collateral Projects of Gain: They have no Wish but for Conqueft, of which they justly confider Riches as the Confequence.
Some Advantages they will always have as Invaders. They make War at the Hazard of their Enemies The Conteft being carried on in our Territories, we must lofe more by a Victory than they will fuffer by a Defeat. They will fubfift, while they ftay, upon our Plantations; and perhaps deftroy them when they can ftay no longer. If we pursue them, and carry the War into their Dominions, our Difficulties will increase every Step as we advance, for we fhall leave Plenty behind us, and find nothing in Canada but Lakes and Forests barren and tracklefs; our Enemies will shut themfelves up in their Forts, against which it is difficult to bring Cannon through fo rough a Country, and which, if they are provided with good Magazines, will foon ftarve those who befiege them.
All these are the natural Effects of their Government and Situation; they are accidentally more formidable as they are lefs happy. But the Favour of the Indians which they enjoy, with very few Exceptions, among all the Nations of the Northern Continent, we ought to confider with other Thoughts; this Favour we might have enjoyed, if we had been careful to deferve it. The French, by having these favage Nations on their Side, are always fupplied with Spies and Guides, and with Auxiliaries, like the Tartars to the Turks, or the Huffars to the Germans, of no great Use against Troops ranged in Order
Order of Battle, but very well qualified to maintain a War among Woods and Rivulets, where much Mischief may be done by unexpected Onfets, and Safety be obtained by quick Retreats. They can wafte a Colony by fudden Inroads, furprize the ftraggling Planters, frighten the Inhabitants into Towns, hinder the Cultivation of Lands, and ftarve those whom they are not able to conquer.
O F THE
GROTTO of ANTIPAROS.
ANTIPAROS is one of the fmalleft Islands of
the Levant; has but a fingle Village on it, and very few Inhabitants: It is one continued Mafs of Stone, but covered two or three Feet deep, and very rich in Vegetables. In this Ifland is the famous Grotto, known from the earliest Times, and celebrated down to these. I heard fo much of it that I was determined to go down; but I confefs that I often repented my Curiofity, and often gave myself up for loft. I am apt to fufpect no Body will follow my Example, and that my Account will be the last that ever will be given from perfonal Observation.
We were led about four Miles from the Town to the Place: The Opening into it is by a vast Cavern formed into a Kind of natural Arch at the Entrance; this opens in the folid Rock, and its Roof and Sides are rough and craggy. There are fome Pillars the Work of Nature, not of Art, which divide this Entrance into two Parts; on the largest of these there is the Remains of an Infcription; it is very ancient, and confifts only of fome proper Names. The Greeks, who at prefent inhabit the Island, have a Tradition that they are the Names of the Con
fpirators against Alexander the Great, who retired hither as to a Place of the greatest Security that could be found; but there is nothing to countenance this Suppofition.
The Defcent into the Cavern is by a floping Walk that begins between two Pillars on the right Hand. 'Tis but a gentle Declivity at firft; but afterwards it becomes much more fteep. We were now at the farther Part of the Cavern, and our Guides lighted their Torches, and pointed to an Opening that led to the Receffes of the Grotto. They were in no Humour to go down before us. I was obliged to walk in firft with a Flambeau in my Hand, and a Fellow with another juft behind me; after him followed three more; and there were still two others behind, who were to keep at a little Diftance, to be ready in cafe of Accidents.
We had not walked far along this narrow Alley, which was too low to admit our standing upright, when I faw before me a ftrong Iron Staple driven into the Rock; the Guides, if I may fo call the People who went behind, not before us, had told me of this, and one of them had now the Courage to come forward, and faften a Rope he had brought for that Purpofe to the Staple. I had fome Difficulty to perfuade him to make the firft Defcent into a frightful Abyfs, which was now immediately before us; I was the fecond that defcended; we flid down by means of the Rope, and I found myself on a level Floor with Walls of rough Rock all about me, and a vast arched Roof above. There had been nothing particular in the Sound of my Guide's Voice from below; but that of those who answered me from above, was echoed to us in Thunder. When we were all landed, a Gratuity, which
I gave the bold Fellow who defcended firft, encouraged him to precede us again; he turned to the Right, and led us, after a few Paces, to the Brink