Montesquieu

It is true that in the last two cen­tu­ries Europe has greatly increa­sed its navi­ga­tion, in conse­quence of which she has pro­cu­red inha­bi­tants and also lost some. Every year Holland sends a large num­ber of sea­men to the Indies, only two-thirds of whom return ; the rest perish, or set­tle in the Indies ; all the other nations that engage in that trade must expe­rience about the same thing.

We must not judge Europe as if it were an indi­vi­dual state alone enga­ged in one great navi­ga­tion. That state would grow in num­bers because all the neigh­bo­ring nations would come to par­ti­ci­pate in that navi­ga­tion ; sea­men would come in from all direc­tions ; this is not the way that Europe, sepa­ra­ted from the rest of the world by reli­gion,1 by vast seas, and by deserts, repairs her­self.

It is almost completely surrounded by Mohammedan countries.