As often as I consider these things, I am ready to say with my self, that God has bestowed his Blessings upon Men that have neither hearts nor skill to use them. For, why are we surrounded with the Sea? Surely that our Wants at home might be supply’d by our Navigation into other Countries, the least and easiest Labour. By this we taste the Spices of Arabia, yet never feel the scorching Sun which brings them forth; we shine in Silks which our Hands have never wrought; we drink of Vinyards which we never planted; the Treasures of those Mines are ours, in which we have never digg’d; we only plough the Deep, and reap the Harvest of every Country in the World.
– Henry Martyn, Considerations on the East-India Trade, p. 37 (1701).
An inspired treatise on free trade 75 years before Adam Smith. It also brought to mind one of my favorite songs.
For if you can give her one gold piece,
Then I can give her three.
For I am bold John Barbour,
And I plough the raging sea.