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[185] several settlements, in parties, under commissioned
Chap V.}
officers, fell upon the adjoining savages; and a law of the general assembly commanded, that in July of 1624, the attack should he repeated. Six years later, the
colonial statute-book proves that schemes of ruthless vengeance were still meditated; for it was sternly insisted, that no peace should be concluded with the Indians—a law which remained in force till a treaty in the administration of Harvey.1

Meantime, a. change was preparing in the relations

of the colony with the parent state. A corporation, whether commercial or proprietary, is, perhaps, the worst of sovereigns. Gain is the object which leads to the formation of those companies, and which constitutes the interest most likely to be fostered. If such a company be wisely administered, its colonists are made subservient to commercial avarice. If, on the other hand, the interests of the company are sacrificed, the colonists, not less than the proprietors, are pillaged for the benefit of faithless agents. Where an individual is the sovereign, there is room for an appeal to magnanimity, to benevolence, to the love of glory; where the privilege of self-government is enjoyed, a permanent interest is sure to gain the ultimate ascendency; but corporate ambition is deaf to mercy, and insensible to shame.

The Virginia colony had been unsuccessful. A settlement had been made; but only after a vast expenditure of money, and a great sacrifice of human life. Angry factions distract unsuccessful institutions; and the London company was now rent by two parties, which were growing more and more imbittered.

1 Burk, i. 275; II. 37. Hening, i. 123. 153.

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