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First attempts are commonly crude and defective. The franc-archers, difperfed one by one in different villages, and never collected but in time of action, could not eafily be brought under regular difcipline: in the field, they difplay'd nothing but vicious habits, a fpirit of laziness, of diforder, and of pilfering. Neither in peace were they of any ufe: their character of foldier made them defpife agriculture, without being qualified for war: in the army they were no better than peasants: at the plough, no better than idle foldiers. But in the hands of a monarch, a standing army is an inftrument of power, too valuable ever to be abandoned: if one fove
conftitutional, it occafioned not the flighteft murmur, because its visible good tendency reconciled all the world to it. Charles, befide, was a favourite of his people; and juftly, as he fhewed by every act his affection for them, Had our firft Charles been fuch a favourite, who knows whether the taxes he impofed without confent of parliament, would have met with any oppofition? Such taxes would have become customary, as in France; and a limited monarchy would, as in France, have become abfolute. Governments, like men, are liable to many revolutions: we remain, it is true, a free people; but for that bleffing we are perhaps more indebted to fortune, than to patriotic vigilance.
reign entertain fuch an army, others in felf-defence muft follow. Standing armies are now established in every European ftate, and are brought to a competent degree of perfection.
This new inftrument of government, has produced a furprising change in manWe now rely on a standing army, for 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 have become altogether effeminate, terrified at the very fight of a hoftile weapon. It is true, they are not the lefs qualified for the arts of peace; and if manufacturers be protected from being obliged to ferve in the army, I difcover not any incompatibility between a standing army and the highest industry. Husbandmen at the fame time make the beft foldiers: a military fpirit in the lower claffes arifes from bodily ftrength, and from affection to their natal foil. Both are eminent in the husbandman: conftant exercife 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 contrary, is attached to no country but where he finds the best bread; and a fedentary 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
Nunquam credo potuiffe dubitari, aptiorem armis rufticam plebem, quæ fub divo et in labore nutritur; folis patiens; umbræ negligens; balnearum nefcia; deliciarum ignara; fimplicis animi; parvo contenta; duratis ad omnem laborum tolerantiam membris: cui geftare ferrum, foffam ducere, onus ferre, confuetudo de rure eft. Nec inficiandum eft, poft urbem conditam, Romanos ex civitate profectos femper ad bellum: fed tunc nullis voluptatibus, nullis deliciis frangebantur. Sudorem curfu et campeftri exercitio collectum nando juventus abluebat in Tybere. Idem bellator, idem agricola, genera tantum mutabat armorum. Vegetius, De re militari, l. 1. cap. 3.—[In English thus: “I "believe it was never doubted, that the country. "labourers were, of all others, the beft foldiers. "Inured to the open air, and habitual toil, fub"jected to the extremes of heat and cold, ignorant "of the use of the bath, or any of the luxuries of "life, contented with bare neceffaries, there was
no feverity in any change they could make: their "limbs, accustomed to the ufe of the fpade and plough, and habituated to burden, were capable
preparation for war, by breeding men who love their country, and whom labour and fobriety qualify for being foldiers; but is alfo the best foundation for commerce, by furnishing both food and materials to the induftrious.
But feveral objections occur against a standing army, that call aloud for a better model than has hitherto been established, at least in Britain. The fubject is interefting, and I hope for attention from every man who loves his country. During the vigour of the feudal fyftem, 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 loft hopes of recovering the whole. At prefent, we rely entirely on a standing
"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 pleafures, nor by luxury: The "military youth, returning from their exercife and "martial sports, plunged into the Tyber to wash "off the fweat and duft of the field. The warrior " and the husbandman were the fame, they changed only the nature of their arms."]
army, for defence as well as offence; which has reduced every nation in Europe to a precarious ftate. If the army of a nation happen to be defeated, even at the most distant frontier, there is little refource against a total conqueft. 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, was however far from yielding: on the contrary, relying on the military fpirit of his people, and indefatigably intent on ftratagem and furprife, he recovered all he had loft. When Lewis XIV. fucceeded to the crown, the military fpirit of the people was contracted within the narrow fpan of a standing army. Behold the confequence. That ambitious monarch, having provoked his neighbours into an alliance against him, had no refource against a more numerous army, but to purchase peace by an abandon of all his conquests, upon which he had lavished much blood and treasure (a). France at that period contained feveral millions capable of bearing arms; and yet was not in a condition
(a) Treaty of St Gertrudenberg.