A Discourse of Trade
The Greatness and Riches of the United Provinces, and States of Venice, consider’d, with the little Tract of Ground that belongs to either of their Territories, sufficiently demonstrate the great Advantage and Profit that Trade brings to a Nation.
Since the Old Ammunition and Artillery of the Grecians and Romans are grown out of Use; such as Stones, Bows, Arrows, and battering Rams, with other Wooden Engines, which were in all Places easily procured or made:
The Invention of Gunpowder introduced another sort of Ammunition and Artillery, whose Materials are made of Minerals, that are not to be found in all Countries; such as Iron, Brass, Lead, Salt-petre, and Brimstone.
Therefore where they are wanting, must be procured by Traffic.
Trade is now become as necessary to Preserve Governments, as it is useful to make them Rich.
And notwithstanding the great Influence, that Trade now hath in the Support and Welfare of States and Kingdoms, yet there is nothing more unknown, or that Men differ more in their Sentiments, than about the True Causes that raise and promote Trade.
Livy, and those Antient Writers, whose elevated Genius set them upon the Inquiries into the Causes of the Rise and Fall of governments, have been very exact in describing the several Forms of Military Discipline, but take no Notice of Trade
Machiavel a Modern Writer, and the best, though he lived in a Government, where the Family of Medicis had advanced themselves to the Soveraignty by their riches, acquired by Merchandizing, does not mention Trade, as any way interested in the Affairs of State.