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Where arts, manufactures, and commerce, have arrived at perfections, a pacific fpirit prevails univerfally not a fpark is left of military ardor, nor will any man be a foldier. Hence in fuch a state, the neceflity * of mercenary troops, hired among nations lefs effeminate, who fight for pay, not for the flate they ferve, Benjamin de Tudele, a Spanish Jew, who wrote in the twelfth century, reports, that the Greeks, by luxury. and effeminacy, had contracted a degree of foftness, that made them refemble women more than men, and that the Greek Emperor was reduced to the neceffity of employing mercenary troops, to defend his country against the Turks. And accordingly when, in the year 1453, the city of Conftantinople, defended by a garrifon not exceeding 6000 men, was befieged by the Turks and reduced to extremity, not a fingle inhabitant had courage to take up arms, all waiting with torpid defpondence the hour of utter extirpation. Venice Genoa, and other mall Italian ftates, became fo ef feminate by long and fuccefsful commerce, that not e citizen ever thought of ferving in the army, which ob liged them to employ inercenaries, officers as well as private men. Thefe mercenaries at firit fought con scientiously for their pay, but reflecting, that the vic A 3
* Before the time that all Scotland was broughs under one king. the highlanders, divided into tribes grelans, raade war upon each other; and continued the fate practice regula ly many. ages after they fubmitted to the king of Scotland. Open war was repreffed, but it went on privately by depredations and reprifals. The clan-spirit was much depreffed by their bad fuccefs in the rebellion 1715; and totally crushed after the rebellion 1745. The mildnefs with which the highlanders have been treated of late, and the pains that have been taken to introduce industry among them, have totally extirpated depredations and reprifals, and have rendered them the most peaceable people in Scotland; but have at the fame time reduced their military fpirit to a low ebb. To train them for war military difcipline has now become no lefs neceffary than to others.
they took courage to display their banners in the open field; and after many military atchievements, fucceeded in reconquering Spain. The Scots, inhabiting the mountainous parts of Caledonia, were an overinatch for the Picts, who occupied the fertile plains, and at laft fubdued them*.
tors were not better paid than the vanquished, they learned to play booty. In a battle particularly between the Pifans and Florentines, which lafted from fun-rifing to fun-fetting, there was but a fingle man loft, who, having accidentally fallen from his horfe, was trode under foot. Charles VIII. of France when he invaded Italy anno 1498, understood nothing of fuch mock battles; and his men were held to be devils incarnate, who seemed to take delight in fhedding human blood. The Dutch, who for many years have been reduced to mercenary troops, are more indebted to the mutual jealoufy of their neighbours for their independence, than to their own army. In the year 1672, Lewis of France invaded Holland, and in forty days took forty walled towns. That country was faved, not by his army, but by being laid under water. Froft, which is ufual at that feafon, would have put an end to the feven United Provinces.
The fmall principality of Palmyra is the only inftance known in hiftory, where the military fpirit was not enervated by opulence. Pliny defcribes that country as extremely pleafant, and bleffed with plenty of fprings, 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 pleafure grounds, the inhabitants, like those of Hanburgh, 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 moft affiduous military difcipline, to preferve 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
fpirit, for learning, and for an exquifite tafte in the fine
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 caufe 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 preferve its military fpirit, muft exclude induftry; and, if it will preferve its industry, muft 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 fpirit of war and of commerce be made com patible by fome military plan, that would protect us against enemies, without hurting our induftry and manufactures. That fuch a plan is not abfolutely imprac ticable, 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 shall premife an account of the different military eftablishinents that exift, and have exifted, 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 moft illuftrious 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 upon their pay when in the field; but if they happened not 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 correfponded to
the halfpay of our officers. It is believed, that fuch a conftitution would not be adopted by any modern state. It was a forc'd constitution; contrary to nature, which gives different difpofitions 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 univerfal conqueft and the most wretched flavery. Had the Gauls, 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 ftate, 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 fea. In fact, they profpered fo much by commerce, even after they were fubdued, as to raise jealoufy in their masters, who thought themfelves not fecure while a house remained ftanding in Carthage. On the other hand, what refource for the inhabitants of Rome had they been fubdued? They muft have perished by hunger; for they could not work. In a word, ancient Rome refembles a gamefter who ventures all upon one decifive throw: if he lofe, he is undone.
I take it for granted, that our feudal system 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 bed, after what is faid of them above.
The only remaining forms that merit attention, are a ftanding army, and a militia; which I fhall exainine 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. By an edit 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 reftoring peace and order at home, not for disturbing neighbouring ftates. This good prince
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 againft a powerful adverfary, Henry V. of England. As thefe wars were carried on in the feudal manner, the foldiers, who had no pay, could not be reftrained 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 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. They were idle when not in the field, and in the field, they difplayed 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
army they were no better than peasants: at the plough, no better than idle foldiers. But in the hands of a monarch, a ftanding army is an inftrument of power, too valuable ever to be abandoned: if one fovereign entertain fuch an army, others in felf-defence must follow the example. 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 wonderful change in manners. We now rely on a ftanding army, for defence as well as offence: none but those who are trained to war, ever think of handiA 5
*This was the first tax imposed in France without consent of the three eftates: and, however unconftitutional, it occafioned not the flightest murmur, because the visible good tendency of the tax reconciled all the world to it. Charles, beside, was a favourite of his people; and justly, as he thewed by every aft his affection for them. Had our firit 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.