Page:Voyage in search of La Perouse, volume 1 (Stockdale).djvu/14

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ries so unaccountable, and so remote from any experiments which uncivilized tribes can be supposed to have made, that we cannot do better than acknowledge them among the many precious gifts of an indulgent Providence.

Having mentioned Providence, a word not very common in some of our modern voyages, we are tempted to add a consideration which has often occurred to our minds, in contemplating the probable issue of that zeal for discovering and corresponding with distant regions, which has long animated the maritime powers of Europe. Without obtruding our own sentiments on the reader, we may be permitted to ask, Whether appearances do not justify a conjecture, that the Great Arbiter of the destinies of nations may render that zeal subservient to the moral and intellectual, not to say the religious, improvement, and the consequent happiness, of our whole species? or, Whether, as has hitherto generally happened, the advantages of civilization may not, in the progress of events, be transferred from the Europeans, who have but too little prized them, to those remote countries which they have been so diligently exploring? If so, the period may arrive, when New Zealand may produce her Lockes, her Newtons, and her Montesquieus;