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more enlightened, policy and morality will at last be reconciled, and that nations will learn not to do what they would not suffer.
But the silent toleration of suspected guilt is a degree of depravity far below that which openly incites and manifestly protects it. To pardon a pirate may be injurious to mankind; but how much greater is the crime of opening a port in which all pirates shall be safe? The contraband trader is not more worthy of protections: if with Narborough he trades by force, he is a pirate; if he trades secretly, he is only a thief. Those who honestly refuse his traffick, he hates as obstructors of his profit; and those with whom he deals he cheats, because he knows that they dare not complain. He lives with a heart full of that malignity which fear of detection always generates in those who are to defend unjust acquisitions against lawful authority; and when he comes home with riches thus acquired, he brings a mind hardened in evil, too proud for reproof, and too stupid for reflection; he offends the high by his insolence, and corrupts the low by his example.
Whether these truths were forgotten or despised, or whether some better purpose was then in agitation, the representation made in Anson's voyage had such effect upon the statesmen of that time, that (1748) some sloops were fitted out for the fuller knowledge of Pepy's and Falkland's Islands, and for further discoveries in the South Sea. This expedition, though perhaps designed to be secret, was not long concealed from Wall, the Spanish ambassador, who so vehemently opposed it, and so Strongly maintained the right of the Spaniards to the exclusive dominion of the South Sea, that the English ministry relinquished part of their original design, and declared that the examination of those two islands was the utmost that their orders should comprise.
This concession was sufficiently liberal or sufflciently submissive; yet the Spanish court was neither gratified by our kindness, nor softened by our humility. Sir Benjamin Keene, who then resided at Madrid, was interrogated by Carvajal concerning the visit intended to Pepy's and Falkland's Islands in terms of great jealousy and discontent; and the intended expedition was represented, if, not as a direct violation of the late peace, yet as ao act inconsistent with amicable intentions, and contrary to the professions of mutual kindness which then passed between Spain and England. Keene was directed to protest that nothing more than mere discovery was intended, and that no settlement was to be established. The Spaniard readily replied, that if this was a voyage of wanton curiosi. ty, it might be gratified with less trouble, for he was willing to communicate whatever was known; that to go so far only to come back, was no reasonable act; and it would be a slender sacrifice to peace and friendship to omit a voyage in which nothing was to be gained; that if we left the places as we found them, the voyage was useless; and if we took possession, it was a hostile armament, nor could we expect that the Spaniards would suppose us to visit the southern parts of America only from curiosity, after the scheme proposed by the author of Anson's voyage: When once we had disowned all purpose of set
tling, it is apparent that we could not defend the propriety of our expedition by arguments equivalent to Carvajal's objections. The ministry therefore dismissed the whole design, but no declaration was required by which our right to pursue it hereafter might be annulled.
From this time Falkland's Island was forgotten or neglected, till the conduct of naval affairs was intrusted to the Earl of Egmont, a man whose mind was vigorous and ardent, whose knowledge was extensive, and whose designs were magnificent; but who had somewhat vitiated his judgment by too much indulgence of romantick projects and airy speculations.
Lord Egmont's eagerness after something new determined him to make inquiry after Falkland's Island, and he sent out captain Byron, who in the beginning of the year 1765, took, he says, a formal possession in the name of his Britannick majesty.
The possession of this place is, according to Mr Byron's representation, no despicable acquisition, He conceived the island to be six or seven hundred miles round, and represented it as a region naked indeed of wood, but which, if that defect were supplied, would have all that nature, almost all that luxury could want. The harbour he found capacious and secure, and therefore thought it worthy of the name of Egmont. Of water there was no want, and the ground, he described as having all the excellencies of soil, and as covered with antiscorbutick herbs, the restoratives of the sailor. Provision was easily to be had, for they killed almost every day an hundred geese to each ship, by peltîng them with stones. Not content with physick and with food, he searched yet deeper for the value of the new dominion. He dug in quest of ore, found iron in abundance, and did not despair of nobler metals.
A country thus fertile and delightful, fortunately found where none would have expected it, about the fiftieth degree of southern latitude, could not without great supineness be neglected. Early in the next year (January 8, 1766) Captain Macbride arrived at Port Egmont, where he erected a small blockhouse, and stationed a garrison. His description was less flattering. He found, what he calls, a mass of islands and broken lands, of which the soil was nothing but a bog, with no better prospect than that of barren mountains, beaten by storms almost perpetual. Yet this, says he, is summer, and if the winds of winter hold their natural proportion, those who lie but two cables' length from the shore, must pass weeks without any communication with it. The plenty which regaled Mr Byron, and which might have supported not only armies, but armies of Patagons, was no longer to be found. The geese were too wise to stay when men violated their haunts, and Mr Macbride's crew could only now and then kill a goose when the weather would permit. All the quadrupeds which he met there were foxes, supposed by him to have been brought upon the ice; but of useless animals, such as sea lions and penguins, which he calls vermin, the number was incredible. He allows, however, that those who touch at these islands
find geese and snipes, and in the summer months, wild celery and sorrel.
No token was seen by either, of any settlement ever made upon this island, and Mr Macbride thought himself so secure from hostile disturbance, that when he erected his wooden blockhouse, he omitted to open the ports and loopholes.
When a garrison was stationed at port Egmont, it was necessary to try what sustenance the ground could be by culture excited to produce. A garden was prepared, but the plants that sprung up, withered away in immaturity. Some fir-seeds were sown; but though this be the native tree of rugged climates, the young firs that rose above the ground died like weaker herbage. The cold continued long, and the ocean seldom was at rest.
Cattle succeeded better than vegetables. Goats, sheep, and hogs, that were carried thither, were found to thrive and increase as in other places.
Nil mortalibus arduum est. There is nothing which human courage will not undertake, and little that human patience will not endure. The garrison lived upon Falkland's Islands, shrinking from the blast, and shuddering at the billows.
This was a colony which could never become independent, for it never could be able to main, tain itself. The necessary supplies were annually sent from England, at an expence which the Ad. miralty began to think would not quickly be repaid. " But shame of deserting a project, and unwillingness to contend with a projector that meant well, continued the garrison, and supplied it with regular remittances of stores and provision.
That of which we were almost weary ourselves we did not expect any one to envy; and therefore supposed that we should be permitted to reside in