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verfal conquest and the most wretched slavery. Had the Gauls, who conquered Rome, entertained any view but of plunder, Rome would never have been more heard of. It was on the brink of ruin in the war with Hannibal. What would have happened had Hannibal been victorious ? It is easy to judge, by comparing it with Carthage. Carthage was a commercial state, the people all employ'd in arts, manufactures, and navigation. The Carthaginians were subdued ; but they could not be reduced to extremity, while they had access to the sea. In fact, they profpered so much by commerce, even after they were subdued, as to raise jealousy in their masters, who thought themselves not secure while a house remained standing in Carthage. On the other hand, what resource for the inhabitants of Rome, had they been subdued ? They must have perished by hunger; for they could. not work. In a word, ancient Rome resembles a gamester who ventures all upon one decisive throw : if he lose, he is undone,
I take it for granted, that our feudal system will not have a. single vote. It was a system that led to confusion and anarchy, as little fitted for war as for peace. And as for mercenary troops, it is unnecessary to bring them again into the field, after what is said of them above.
The only remaining forms that merit attention, are a standing: army, and a militia ; which I shall examine in their order, with the objections that lie against each. The first standing army in modern times was established by Charles VII. of France, on a very imperfect plan. By an edict anno 1448, he appointed each parilh to furnith an archer : these were terined franc-archers, because they were exempted from all taxes. This little army was. intended for restoring peace and order at home, not for disturbing: neighbouring states. This good prince had been forced into many perilous wars, some of them for restraining the turbulent fpi-. rit of his vassals, and most of thein for defending his crown a
gainst a powerful adverfary, Henry V. of England. As these wars were carried on in the feudal manner, the soldiers, who had no pay, could not be restrained from plundering; and inveterate practice rendered them equally licentious in peace and in war. Charles, to leave no pretext for free quarters, laid upon his subjects a sinall tax, sufficient for regular pay to his little army*.
First attempts are commonly crude and defective. The francarchers, dispersed one by one in different villages, and never collected but in time of action, could not easily be brought under regular discipline. They were idle when not in the field ; and in the field, they display'd nothing but vicious habits, a spirit of laziness, of disorder, and of pilfering. Neither in peace were they of any use: their character of foldier made them despise agriculture, without being qualified for war: in the army they were no better than peasants : at the plough, no better than idle soldiers, But in the hands of a monarch, a standing army is an instrument of power, too valuable ever to be abandoned : if one sovereign entertain such an army, others in self-defence must follow the example. Standing armies are now established in every European state, and are brought to a competent degree of perfection.
This new instrument of government, has produced a wonderful change in manners. We now rely on a standing army, for
* This was the first tax inipored in France without consent of the three estates: 2nd, however pinconstitutional, it occafioned not the slightest murmur, because the visible good tendency of the tax reconciled all the world to it. Charles, beside, was a favourite of his people ; and justly, as he shewed by every act his affection for them. Had our fi:lt Charles been such a favourite, who knows, whether the taxes he iinposed without consent of parliament, would have met with any oppolision? Such taxes would have become customary, as in France; and a limited monarchy would, as in France, have become absolute. Governments, like men, are liable to many revolutions : we remain, it is true, a free people; but for that biuling, we are perhaps more indebted to fortune, than to patriotic vigilance.
defence as well as offence: none but those who are trained to war, ever think of handling arms, or even of defending themselves against an enemy: our people in general have become altogether effeminate, terrified at the very sight of a hostile weapon. It is true, they are not the less qualified for the arts of peace; and if manufacturers be protected from being obliged to serve in the army, I discover not any incompatibility between a standing army and the highest industry. Husbandmen at the same time make the best soldiers : a military spirit in the lower classes arises from bodily strength, and from affection to their natal foil : both are eminent in the husbandman : constant exercise in the open air renders him hardy and robust; and fondness for the place where he finds comfort and plenty, attaches him to his country in general *. An artist or manufacturer, on the
* Numquam credo potuiffe dubitari, aptiorem armis rusticam plebem, quæ fub divo et in labore nutritur; solis patiens ; umbræ negligens; balnearum nescia ; deliciarum ignara; fimplicis animi; parvo contenta ; duratis ad omnem laborum tolerantiam membris: cui gestare ferrum, foffam ducere, onus ferre, consuetudo de rure est. Nec inficiandum est, poft urbem conditam, Romanos ex civitate profectos semper ad bellum : fed tunc nullis voluptatibus, nullis deliciis frangebantur. Sudorem cursu et campestri exercitio collectum nando juventus abluebat in Tybere. I. dem bellator, idem agricola, genera tantum mutabat armorum. Vegetius, De re militari, l. 1. cap. 3. - [ In Englis thus : “ I believe it was never doubted, that " the country-labourers were, of all others, the best soldiers. Inured to the open “ air, and habitual toil, subjected to the extremes of heat and cold, ignorant of the « use of the bath, or any of the luxuries of life, contented with bare necessaries, “ there was no severity in any change they could make: their limbs, accustomed to « the use of the spade and plough, and habituated to burden, were capable of the “ utmost extremity of toil. Indeed, in the earliest ages of the commonwealth, " while the city was in her infancy, the citizens marched out from the town to “ the field: but at that time they were not enfeebled by pleasures, nor by luxury : ." The military youth, returning from their exercise and martial sports, plunged “ into the Tyber to wash off the sweat and dust of the field. The warrior and the “ husbandman were the same, they changed only the nature of their arms."] Vol. II.
contrary, is attached to no country but where he finds the best bread; and a sedentary life, enervating his body, renders him pufillanimous. For these reasons, among many, agriculture ought to be honoured and cherished above all other arts. It is not only a fine preparation for war, by breeding men who love their country, and whom labour and fobriety fit for being soldiers; but is also the best foundation for commerce, by furnishing both food and materials to the industrious.
But several objections of the most interesting nature occur against a standing army, that call aloud for a better model than has hitherto been established, at least in Britain. The subject is of importance, and I hope for attention from every man who loves his country. During the vigour of the feudal system, which made every land-proprietor a soldier, every inch of ground was tenaciously disputed with an invader : and while a fovereign retained any part of his dominions, he never lost hopes of recovering the whole. At present, we rely entirely on a standing army, for defence as well as offence, which has reduced every nation of Europe to a very precarious condition. If the army of a state happen to be defeated, even at the most distant frontier, there is little resource against a total conquest. Compare the history of Charles VII. with that of Lewis XIV. Kings of France. The former, tho' driven into a corner by Henry V. of England, and deprived of the bulk of his provinces, was however far from yielding: on the contrary, relying on the military spirit of his people, and indefatigably intent on stratagein and surprise, he recovered all he had lost. When Lewis XIV. succeeded to the crown, the military fpirit of the people, was contracted within the narrow span of a standing army. Behold the consequence. That ambitious monarch, having provoked his neighbours into an alliance against him, had no resource against a more numerous army, but to purchase peace by offering to abandon all his conquests, upon which
he had lavished much blood and treasure (a). France at that period contained several millions capable of bearing arms; and yet was not in a condition to make head against a disciplined ariny of 70,000 men. Poland, which continues upon the ancient military establishment, wearied out Charles XII. of Sweden, and had done the same to several of his predecessors. But Saxony, defended only by a standing army, could not hold out a single day against the prince now mentioned, at the head of a greater army. Mercenary troops are a defence still more feeble, against troops that fight for glory, or for their country. Unhappy was the invention of a standing army; which, without being any strong bulwark against enemies, is a grievous burden on the people ; and turns daily more and more so. Listen to a first-rate author on that point. “ Sitôt qu'un état augmente ce qu'il appelle ses “ troupes, les autres augmentent les leurs ; de façon qu'on ne “ gagne rien par-là que la ruine commune. Chaque monarque “ tient sur pied toutes les armées qu'il pourroit avoir si fes peuples “ étoient en danger d'être exterminées ; et on nomme paix cet état “ d'effort de tous contre tous. Nous sommes pauvres avec les “ richesses et le commerce de tout l'univers ; et bientôt à force “ d'avoir des soldats, nous n'aurons plus que des soldats, et “ nous serons comme de Tartares * (6).”
* “ As soon as one state augments the number of its troops, the neighbouring " states of course do the same ; so that nothing is gained, and the effect is, the ge" neral ruin. Every prince keeps as many armies in pay, as if he dreaded the ex“ termination of his people from a foreign invasion ; and this perpetual ftruggle, “ maintained by all against all, is termed peace. With the riches and commerce “ of the whole universe, we are in a state of poverty; and by, thus continually “ augmenting our troops, we shall foon have none else but foldiers, and be redu“ ced to the same situation as the Tartars.
(a) Treaty of St Gertrudenberg.