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empire, even the Rhine appeared a barrier too weak : the numberless forts and legions that covered their frontiers could not defend them from a panic upon every motion of the barbarians * A nation, in which the reciprocal duties of sovereign and subject are conscientiously fulfilled, and in which the people love their country and their governors, may be deemed invincible ; provided due care be taken of the military branch. Every particular is reversed in a great empire : individuals grasp at money, per fas aut nefas, to lavish it upon pleasure : the governors of distant provinces tyrannize without controul; and, during the short period of their power, neglect no means, however oppressive, to amass wealth. Thus were the Roman provinces governed; and the people, who could not figure a greater tyrant than a Roman proconsul, were ready to embrace every change. The Romans accordingly were sensible, that, to force their barrier, and to
• The use of cannon, which place the weak and Irong upon a level, is the only resource of the luxurious and opulent against the poor and hardy.
dismember their empire, were in effect the same. In our times, the nations whose frontiers lie open, would make the most resolute opposition to an invader ; witness the German states, and the Swiss cantons. I. taly enjoys the strongest natural barrier of any country that is not an island ; and yet, for centuries, has been a prey to every invader,
Three plans, at different times, have been put in execution, for securing the frontiers of an extensive empire, building walls, laying the frontiers waste, and establishing feudatory Princes. The first was the ancient pra&ice, proper only for an idle people, without commerce. The Egyptians built a very extensive wall for procecting themselves against the wandering Arabs. The famous wall of China to protect its effeminate inhabitants against the Tartars, is known all the world over ; and the walls built in the north of England against the Scots and picts, are known to every Briton. To protect the Roman territory from German invaders, the Emperor Probus constructed a stone wall, strengthened with towers. It stretched
from Ratisbon on the Danube to Wimpfen on the Necker; and terminated on the bank of the Rhine, after a winding course of two hundred miles.' To a low state indeed muit the Greek empire have been reduced, in the reign of the Emperor Anastasius, when, to repress the Bulgarians, it was necessary to build a wall, at no greater distance from Conftantinople than ten leagues, abandoning all without to the barbarians. Such walls, though erected with stupendous labour, prove a very weak bulwark; for a wall of any extent is ne ver so carefully guarded, as at all times to prevent surprise. And, accordingly, experience has taught that walls cannot be relied on. This, in modern times, has introduced the two other methods mentioned. Sha Abbas, King of Persia, in order to prevent the inroads of the Turks, laid waste part of Armenia, carrying the inhabitants to Ispahan,' and treating them with great humanity. Land is not much valued by the great monarchs of Asia : it is precious in the smaller kingdoms of Europe; and the frontiers are commonly guarded by fortified towns. The other frontiers of Persia are guarded by feuda
tory tory princes ; and the same method is practised in China, in Hindoftan, and in the Turkish empire. The Princes of Little Tartary, Moldavia, and Wallachia, have been long a security to the Grand Signior against his powerful neighbours in Europe.
S K E TCH VI.
War and Peace compared.
NTO complaints are more frequent than IV against the weather, when it suits not our purpose : “A difinal season! we “ shall be drowned, or we shall be burnt “up." And yet wise men think, that there might be more occasion to complain, were the weather left to our own direction, The weather is not the only instance of distrust in Providence : it is a common topic to declaim against war; “ Scourge of “ nations, Destroyer of the human race, “ Bane of arts and industry! Will the “ world never become wise ! Will war ne« ver have an end !” Manifold indeed are the blessings of peace ; but doth war never produce any good ? A fair comparison may poflibly make it doubtful, whether war, like the weather, ought not to