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fure-grounds, the inhabitants, like those of Hamburgh, had no way to employ their riches for profit but in trade. At the fame time, being fituated between the two mighty empires of Rome and Parthia; it required great address and the most affiduous military difcipline, to guard it from being fwallowed up by the one or the other. This ticklifh fituation preferved the inhabitants from luxury and effeminacy, the ufual concomitants of riches. Their fuperfluous wealth was laid out on magnificent buildings, and on embellishing their country-feats. The fine arts were among them carried to a high degree of perfection. The famous Zenobia, their Queen, being led captive to Rome after being deprived of her dominions, was admired and celebrated for fpirit, for learning, and for an exquifite taste in the fine
Thus, by accumulating wealth, a manufacturing and commercial people become a tempting object for conqueft; and by effeminacy become an eafy conquest. The military fpirit seems to be at a low ebb in Britain: will o phantom appear, even in a dream, to disturb our downy
reft? Formerly, plenty of corn in the temperate regions of Europe and Afia, proved a tempting bait to northern favages who wanted bread: have we no cause to dread a fimilar fate from fome warlike neighbour, impelled by hunger, or by ambition, to extend his dominions? The difficulty of providing for defence, confiftent with industry, has produced a general opinion among political writers, that a nation, to preserve its military fpirit, must give up industry; and to preferve induftry, must give up a military fpirit. In the former cafe, we are fecure against any invader: in the latter, we lie open to eve ry invader. A military plan that would fecure us against enemies, without hurting our industry and manufactures, would be a rich present to Britain. That fuch a plan is poffible, will appear from what follows; tho' I am far from hoping that it will meet with univerfal approbation. To prepare the reader, I fhall premife an account of the different military eftablishments that exift, and have existed, in Europe, with the advantages and disadvantages of each. In examining thefe, who knows whether fome hint may not VOL. III. B
occur of a plan more perfect than any of them.
The most illuftrious military establishment of antiquity is that of the Romans, by which they fubdued almost all the known world. The citizens of Rome were all of them foldiers: they lived upon their pay when in the field; but if they happened not to be fuccefsful in plundering, they ftarved at home. An annual diftribution of corn among them, became neceffary; which in effect corresponded to the halfpay of our officers. It is believed, that fuch a conftitution would not be ad
opted by any modern ftate. It was a forc'd conftitution; contrary to nature, which gives different difpofitions to men, in order to fupply hands for every neceffary art. It was a hazardous conftitution, having no medium between univerfal conqueft and wretched flavery. Had the Gauls who conquered Rome, entertained any view but of plunder, Rome would never have been heard of. It was on the brink of ruin in the war with Hannibal. What would have happened had Hannibal been victorious? It is eafy to judge, by comparing it with Carthage.
thage was a commercial state, the people all employ'd in arts, manufactures, and navigation. The Carthaginians were fubdued; but they could not be reduced to extremity, while they had access to the sea. In fact, they profpered fo much by commerce, even after they were fubdued, as to raise jealoufy in their masters; who thought themselves not fecure while a house remained in Carthage. On the
other hand, what resource for the inhabitants of Rome, had they been fubdued? They must have perifhed by hunger; for they could not work. In a word, ancient Rome resembles a gamester who ventures all upon one decifive throw: if he lofe, he is undone.
I take it for granted, that our feudal fyftem will not have a fingle vote. It was a fyftem that led to confufion and anarchy, as little fitted for war as for peace. And as for mercenary troops, it is unneceffary to bring them again into the field, after what is faid of them above.
The only remaining forms that merit attention, are a standing army, and a militia; which I fhall examine in their order, with the objections that lie against
each. The firft ftanding army in modern times was established by Charles VII. of France, on a very imperfect plan. began with a body of cavalry termed companies of ordonnance. And as for infantry, he, anno 1448, appointed each parish to furnish an archer: thefe were termed franc-archers, because they were exempted from all taxes. This little army was intended for reftoring peace and order at home, not for disturbing neighbouring ftates. The King had been forc'd into many perilous wars, fome of them for reftraining the turbulent fpirit of his vaffals, and most of them for defending his crown against an ambitious adverfary, Henry V. of England. As thefe wars were carried on in the feudal mode, the foldiers, 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 fubjects a fmall tax, no more than fufficient for regular pay to his little army*.
*This was the first tax impofed in France without confent of the three eftates: and, however un, conftitutional,