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country was faved, not by its army, but by being laid under waFroft, which is ufual at that season, would have put an end to the seven United Provinces.


The finall principality of Palmyra is the only instance known in history, where the military spirit was not enervated by opulence. Pliny defcribes that country as extremely pleasant, and blessed with plenty of springs, tho' furrounded with dry and fandy deferts. The commerce of the Indies was at that time carried on by land; and the city of Palmyra was the centre of that commerce between the Eaft and the Weft. Its territory being very fmall, little more than fufficient for villas and pleasure-grounds, the inhabitants, like thofe 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 addrefs, and the most affiduous military difcipline, to preserve the inhabitants from being fwallowed up by the one or the other. This ticklish fituation preferved them from luxury and effeminacy, the ufual concomitants of riches. They made a better figure with their fuperfluous wealth: they laid it out on magnificent buildings, and adorning their country-feats. The fine arts in general, were among them carried to a high degree of perfection. The famous Zenobia, their Queen, led captive to Rome after being deprived of her dominions, was admired and celebrated for spirit, for learning, and for an exquifite taste in the fine arts.

Thus, by accumulating wealth, a manufacturing and commercial people become a tempting object for conqueft; and by effeminacy become an eafy conqueft. The military fpirit seems to be much decayed in Britain; and ere it be gone, will no phantom appear, even in a dream, to disturb our downy reft? Formerly, the culture 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, without hurting industry, has produced a general opinion among political writers, that a nation, if it will preserve its military spirit, must exclude industry; and, if it will preserve its industry, must give up all hopes of retaining its military fpirit. In the former cafe, we are fecure against any invader in the latter, we indeed make a confiderable figure, but lie open to every invader. Happy would Britain be, could the spirit of war and of commerce be made compatible by fome military plan, that would protect us against enemies, without hurting our industry and manufactures. That fuch a plan is not abfolutely impracticable, will, I hope, appear from what follows; tho' I am far from hoping that it will meet with univerfal approbation. To prepare the reader, I fhall premise an account of the different military establishments that exist, and have existed, in Europe, with the advantages and difadvantages of each. In examining thefe, who knows whether fome hint may not occur of a plan more perfect than any of them.

The most illustrious military establishment of antiquity is that of the Romans, by which they fubdued almost all the known world. The Roman citizens were many of them husbandmen, and all of them foldiers. The inhabitants of Rome, in particular, lived when in the field; but if they happened not upon their pay to be fuccefsful in plundering, they had no means of living at home. An annual diftribution of corn among them became neceffary, which in effect corresponded to the halfpay of our offi

It is believed, that fuch a conftitution would not be adopted by any modern ftate. It was a forc'd constitution; contrary to nature, which gives different difpófitions to men, in order to fupply hands for every neceffary art. It was, at the fame time, extremely precarious, there being in it no medium between uni


Had the Gauls,

verfal conqueft and the most wretched flavery. 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 eafy 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 fubdued; but they could not be reduced to extremity, while they had accefs to the fea. In fact, they prospered fo much by commerce, even after they were fubdued, as to raise jealousy in their masters, who thought themselves not fecure while a house remained standing in Carthage. On the other hand, what resource for the inhabitants of Rome, had they been fubdued? They must have perished 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 system will not haye a fingle vote. It was a system 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 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 parish to furnish an archer: these were termed 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, fome of them for reftraining the turbulent fpirit of his vaffals, and most of them for defending his crown. a


gainst a powerful adverfary, Henry V. of England. As these wars were carried on in the feudal manner, 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 small tax, fufficient for regular pay to his little army


First attempts are commonly crude and defective. The francarchers, difperfed one by one in different villages, and never collected but in time of action, could not easily be brought under regular difcipline. They were idle when not in the field; and in the field, they difplay'd nothing but vicious habits, a spirit of lazinefs, of diforder, and of pilfering. Neither in peace were they of ufe: 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 foldiers. But in the hands of a monarch, a standing army is an inftrument of power, too valuable ever to be abandoned: if one fovereign entertain such an army, others in felf-defence muft follow the example. Standing armies are now established in every European ftate, and are brought to a competent degree of perfection.

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This new inftrument of government, has produced a wonderful change in manners. We now rely on a standing army, for

*This was the firft tax imposed in France without confent of the three estates: and, however unconftitutional, it occafioned not the flightest murmur, because the vifible good tendency of the tax 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 first 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 cuftomary, as in France; and a limited moGovernments, like men, narchy would, as in France, have become abfolute.

are liable to many revolutions: we remain, it is true, a free people; but for that biefing, 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 fight of a hostile 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 discover not any incompatibility between a standing army and the highest industry. Husbandmen at the fame time make the best foldiers : a military spirit in the lower claffes arises from bodily ftrength, and from affection to their natal foil: both are eminent in the husbandman: constant exercise in the open air renders him hardy and robuft; 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 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, fubjected to the extremes of heat and cold, ignorant of the "ufe 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 of the "utmost extremity of toil. Indeed, in the earlieft 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 fports, plunged "into the Tyber to wash off the sweat and duft of the field. The warrior and the "husbandman were the fame, they changed only the nature of their arms."]




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