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Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Establishing the Georgia Colony, 1732-1750
A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia, A Dedication to His Excellency General Oglethorpe: 1741

The following excerpt is from a 1741 pamphlet titled A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia. The pamphlet's authors wrote a dedication to James Oglethorpe, portions of which follow. According to this dedication, what are the authors' views of Oglethorpe? What evidence in the excepts shows that the authors are being sarcastic in their praise of Oglethorpe?

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AS the few surviving Remains of the Colony of Georgia find necessary to present the World (and in particular Great Britain) with a true State of that Province, from its first Rise to its present Period; Your Excellency (of all Mankind) is best entitled to the Dedication, as the principal Author of its present Strength and Affluence, Freedom and Prosperity: And tho' incontestable Truths will recommend the following NARRATIVE to the patient and attentive Reader; yet your Name, SIR, will be no little Ornament to the Frontispiece, and may possibly engage some courteous Perusers a little beyond it.

THAT Dedication and Flattery are synonimous, is the Complaint of every Dedicator, who concludes himself ingenuous and fortunate, if he can discover a less trite and direct Method of flattering than is usually practised; but we are happily prevented from the least Intention of this kind, by the repeated Offerings of the Muses and News-Writers to Your Excellency, in the publick Papers: 'Twere presumptuous even to dream of equalling or encreasing them; We therefore flatter ourselves, that Nothing we can advance will in the least shock Your Excellency's Modesty; not doubting but your Goodness will pardon any Deficiency of Elegance and Politeness, on account of our Sincerity, and the serious Truth we have the Honour to approach you with.

WE have seen the ancient Custom of sending forth Colonies, for the Improvement of any distant Territory, or new Acquisition, continued down to ourselves; but to Your Excellency alone it is owing, that the World is made acquainted with a Plan, highly refined from those of all former Projecters. They fondly imagin'd it necessary to communicate to such young Settlements, the fullest Rights and Properties, all the Immunities of their Mother Countries, and Privileges rather more extensive: By such Means indeed, these Colonies flourish'd with early Trade and Affluence; but Your Excellency's Concern for our perpetual Welfare, could never permit you to propose such transitory Advantages for us: You consider'd Riches like a Divine and Philosopher, as the Irritamenta Malorum, and knew that they were disposed to inflate weak Minds with Pride; to pamper the body with Luxury, and introduce a long Variety of Evils. Thus have you Protected us from ourselves, as Mr. Waller says, by keeping all Earthly Comforts from us: You have afforded us the Opportunity of arriving at the Integrity of the Primitive Times, by intailing a more than Primitive Poverty on us: The Toil that is necessary to our bare Subsistence, must effectually defend us from the Anxieties of any further Ambition: As we have no Properties, to feed Vain-Glory and beget Contention; so we are not puzzled with any System of Laws to ascertain and establish them: The valuable Virtue of Humility is secured to us, by your Care to prevent our procuring, or so much as seeing, any Negroes, (the only human Creatures proper to improve our Soil) lest our Simplicity might mistake the poor Africans for greater slaves than ourselves: And that we might fully receive the Spiritual Benefit of those wholesome Austerities; you have wisely denied us the Use of such Spirituous Liquors, as might in the least divert our Minds from the Contemplation of our Happy Circumstances. . . .

BE pleased then, Great SIR, to accompany our heated Imaginations, in taking a View of this Colony of Georgia! this Child of your auspicious Politicks! arrived at the utmost Vigor of its Constitution, at a Term when most former States have been straggling through the Convulsions of their Infancy. This early Maturity however, lessons our Admiration, that Your Excellency lives to see (what few Founders ever aspired after) the great Decline and almost final Termination of it. So many have finish'd their Course during the Progress of the Experiment, and such Numbers have retreated from the Fantoms of Poverty and Slavery which their cowardly Imaginations pictur'd to them; that you may justly vaunt with the boldest Hero of them all,
--Like Death you reign
O'er silent Subjects and a desert Plain. . . .

YET must your Enemies (if you have any) be reduced to confess, that no ordinary Statesman could have digested in the like Manner, so capacious a Scheme, such a copious Jumble of Power and Politicks. We shall content ourselves with observing, that all those beauteous Models of Government which the little States of Germany exercise, and those extensive Liberties which the Boors of Poland enjoy, were design'd to concenter in your System; and were we to regard the Modes of Government, we must have been strangely unlucky to have miss'd of the best, where there was the Appearance of so great a Variety; for under the Influence of our Perpetual Dictator, we have seen something like Aristocracy, Oligarchy, as well as the Triumvirate, Decemvirate and Consular Authority of famous Republicks, which have expired many Ages before us: What Wonder then we share the fame Fate? Do their Towns and Villages exist but in Story and Rubbish? We are all over Ruins; our Publick-Works, Forts, Wells, High-Ways, Light-House, Store and Water-Mills, &c. are dignified like theirs, with the same venerable Desolation. The Log-House indeed, is like to be the last forsaken Spot of your Empire; yet even this, thro' the Death or Desertion of those who should continue to inhabit it, must suddenly decay; the Bankrupt Jailor himself, shall be soon denied the Privilege of human Conversation; and when this last Moment of the Spell expires, the whole shall vanish like the Illusion of some Eastern Magician.
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