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contrary, is attached to no country but where he finds the beft 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 for war, by breeding men who love their country, and whom labour and fobriety fit for being foldiers; but is also the best foundation for commerce, by furnishing both food and materials to the industrious.

But feveral 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 fubject is of importance, 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 foldier, 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 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 refource against a total conqueft. Compare the hiftory 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 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 span of a ftanding 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 purwhich chafe peace by offering to abandon all his conquefts, upon he


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 to make head against a difciplined army of 70,000 men. Poland, which continues upon the ancient military establishment, wearied out Charles XII. of Sweden, and had done the fame to feveral of his predeceffors. But Saxony, defended only by a standing army, could not hold out a fingle 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 fo. Liften to a first-rate author on that point. "Sitôt qu'un état augmente ce qu'il appelle fes troupes, les autres augmentent les leurs; de façon qu'on ne gagne rien par-là que la ruine commune.... la ruine commune. Chaque monarque "tient fur pied toutes les armées qu'il pourroit avoir fi fes peuples "étoient en danger d'être exterminées; et on nomme paix cet état "d'effort de tous contre tous. Nous fommes pauvres avec les "richeffes et le commerce de tout l'univers; et bientôt à force "d'avoir des foldats, nous n'aurons plus que des foldats, et nous ferons comme de Tartares* (b)."


"As foon as one ftate augments the number of its troops, the neighbouring "ftates of course do the fame; fo 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 invafion; and this perpetual fruggle, "maintained by all against all, is termed peace. With the riches and commerce "of the whole univerfe, we are in a ftate of poverty, and by thus continually "augmenting our troops, we fhall foon have none elfe but foldiers, and be redu"ced to the fame fituation as the Tartars.

(4) Treaty of St Gertrudenberg.

(b) L'efprit des loix, liv. 13. chap. 17.


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But with respect to Britain, and every free nation, there is an objection still more formidable; which is, that a standing army is dangerous to liberty. It avails very little to be fecure against foreign enemies, fuppofing a standing army to afford fecurity, if we have no fecurity against an enemy at home. If a warlike king, heading his own troops, be ambitious to render himself abfolute, there are no means to evade the impending blow; for what avail the greatest number of effeminate cowards against a difciplined army, devoted to their prince, and ready implicitly to execute his commands? In a word, by relying entirely on a standing army, and by trusting the fword in the hands of men who abhor the restraint of civil laws, a folid foundation is laid for military government. Thús a standing army is dangerous to liberty, and yet no fufficient bulwark against powerful neighbours.

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Deeply 'fenfible of the foregoing objections, Harrington propofes a plan for a militia, which he holds to be unexceptionable. Every male between eighteen and thirty, is to be trained to military exercifes, by frequent meetings, where the youth are excited by premiums to contend in running, wrestling, fhooting at a mark, &c. &c. But Harrington did not advert, that fuch meetings, enflaming the military fpirit, muft create an averfion in the people. to dull and fatiguing labour. His plan evidently is inconfiftent with industry and manufactures: it would be fo at least in Britain. A moft fuccefsful plan it would be, were defence our fole object; and not the lefs fuccefsful, by rendering Britain so poor as scarce to be a tempting conqueft. Our late war with France is a confpicuous instance of the power that can be exerted by a commercial state, entire in its credit; a power that amaz'd all the world, and ourselves no lefs than others. Politicians begin to confider Britain, and not France, to be the formidable power that threatens univerfal monarchy. Had Harrington's plan been adopted, Britain, like Sweden or Denmark, muft have been contented with an inferior

inferior station, having no ambition but to draw fubfidies from its more potent neighbours.

In Switzerland, it is true, boys are, from the age of twelve, exercised in running, wrestling, and fhooting. Every male who can bear arms is regimented, and fubjected to military difcipline. Here is a militia in perfection upon Harrington's plan, a militia neither forc'd nor mercenary; invincible when fighting for their country and as the Swifs are by no means an idle people, we learn from this inftance, that the martial fpirit is not an invincible obstruction to industry. But the original barrenness of Switzerland, compelled the inhabitants to be fober and induftrious and industry hath among them become a fecond nature, there fcarcely being a child above fix years of age but who is employ'd, not excepting children of opulent families. England differs widely in the nature of its foil, and of its people. At the fame time, there is little occafion to infift upon that difference; as Switzerland affords no clear evidence, that a militia gives no obftruction to a spirit of industry: the Swifs, it is true, may be termed industrious; but their industry is confined to necessaries and conveniencies: they are lefs ambitious of wealth than of military glory; and they have few arts or manufactures, either to fupport foreign commerce, or to excite luxury.

Fletcher of Salton's plan of a militia, differs little from that of Harrington. Three camps are to be constantly kept up in England, and a fourth in Scotland; into one or other of which, every man muft enter upon completing his one and twentieth year. In these camps the art of war is to be acquired and practifed: those who can maintain themfelves must continue there two years, others but a fingle year. Secondly, Those who have been thus educated, fhall for ever after have fifty yearly meetings, and fhalk exercife four hours every meeting. It is not faid, by what means young men are compelled to refort to the camp; nor is any


exception mentioned of persons deftin'd for the church, for liberal fciences, or for the fine arts. The weak and the fickly must be exempted; and yet no regulation is propofed against thofe who absent themselves on a falfe pretext. But waving thefe, the capital objection against Harrington's plan ftrikes equally against Fletcher's, That by roufing a military fpirit, it would alienate the minds of our people from arts and manufactures, and from any conftant and uniform occupation. The author himself remarks, that the use and exercife of arms, would make the youth place their honour upon that art, and would enflame them with love of military glory; not adverting, that love of military glory, diffufed through the whole mass of the people, would unqualify Britain for being a manufacturing and commercial country, rendering it of little weight or confideration in Europe.

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The military branch is essential to every species of government: the Quakers are the only people who ever doubted of it. Is it not then mortifying, that a capital branch of government, should to this day remain in a state so imperfect? One would fufpect fome inherent vice in the nature of government, that counteracts every effort of genius to produce a more perfect mode. I am not difposed to admit any defect of Providence, especially in an article effential to the well-being of society; and rather than yield to the charge, I venture to propose the following plan, even at the hazard of being thought an idle projector. And what animates me greatly to make the attempt is, a firm conviction, that a military and an industrious fpirit are of equal importance to Britain; and that if either of them be loft, we are undone. To reconcile these feeming antagonists, is my chief view in the following plan; to which I fhall proceed, after paving the way by fome preliminary confiderations.

The first is, that as military force is effential to every state, no man is exempted from bearing arms for his country: all are


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