throw, as nearly as might be, the whole burden of colonial defense on the British Crown and Parliament; and its selfishness, short-sightedness, and very moderate ability, together with its unlimited capacity for ignoble squabbling, spake but ill for the body of electors to whose suffrages it owed its being. The different colonies, moreover, cared not a jot for one another's misfortunes. Wellsettled, thriving New England was quite content to let thinly-settled, struggling New York get on as best she might when almost overwhelmed by the Canadians and Indians. The Puritan commonwealths were well pleased to have such a buffer between them and French aggression. They looked on with cold and selfish indifference until the danger was brought home directly to their own thresholds; the money-making spirit was as yet too strong in their breasts to leave room for more generous and disinterested emotions. Fletcher spent much of his time in a wordy warfare with the New Englanders, because of their desertion of New York, and in quarreling with the Assembly of the latter province for its multifarious misdeeds, and especially for the heinous sin of endeavoring to whittle down his own salary. He was recalled to England early in 1698.
Fletcher's successor was a nobleman of strong and high character, the Earl of Bellomont,a man of pure life and strict honor, and altogether of far