« AnteriorContinuar »
HISTORY OF MAN.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
By HENRY HOME, Lord KAIMS,
Author of Elements of Criticism, &c.
HISTORY OF MAN.
Progrefs of MEN in SOCIETY.
MILITARY Branch of GOVERNMENT.
URING the infancy.of a nation, every member depends on his own induftry for procuring the neceffaries of life: he is his own mafon, his own taylor, his own phyfician; and on himself he chiefly relies for offence as well as defence. Every favage can fay, what few beggars among us can fay, Omnia mea mecum porto; and hence the aptitude of a favage for war, which makes little alteration in his manner of living. In early times accordingly, the men were all warriors, and every known art was exercifed by women; which is the cafe at prefent of American faydges. And even after arts were fo much improved as to be exer cifed by men, none who could hear afnis were exempted from war. In feudal governments, the military fpirit was carried to a great height: el gentlemen were foldiers by profeffion, and every other art was defpifed, as low, if not contemptible.
Even in this untoward ftate, arts made fome progrefs, not excepting those for amusement; and many conveniencies, formerly unknown, became neceffary to comfortable living. A man cannot bear to be deprived of the conveniencies and amusements to which he is accustomed: he hates war, and clings to the sweets of
peace. Hence the neceffity of a military establishment, hardening men by strict difcipline to endure the fatigues of war. By standing armies, war is carried on more regularly and scientifically than in feudal governments; and as it is carried on with infinitely greater expence, nations are more referved in declaring war than formerly. Long experience has at the fame time made it evident, that a nation feldom gains by war; and that agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, are the only folid foundations of power and grandeur. Thefe arts accordingly have become the chief objects of European governments, and the only rational caufes of war. Among the warlike nations of Greece and Italy, how would it have founded, that their effeminate defcendants would employ foldiers by profellion to fight their battles? And yet this is neceffary, in every country where arts and manufactures flourish; which requiring little exercise, tend to enervate the body, and of courfe the mind. Gain, at the fame time, being the fole object of industry, advances felfifhnefs to be the ruling paffion, and brings on a timid anxiety about property and felf-prefervation. Cyrus, tho' flaming with refentment against the Lydians for revolting, liftened to the following fagacious advice, offered by Crafus, their former King. "O Cyrus, deftroy not Sardis, an ancient city, famous for arts and arms; but, pardoning what is paft, demand all their arms, encourage luxury, and exhort them to inftruct their children in every art of gainful commerce You will foon fee, Ó "King, that inftead of men, they will be women.” The Arabians, a brave and generous people, conquered Spam, and drove into the inacceffible mountains of Bifcay and Auftria, the few natives who stood out. When no longer an enemy appeared, they turned their fwords into plough-fhares, and became a rich and flourishing nation. The inhabitants of the mountains, hardened by poverty and fituation, ventured, after a long interval, to peep out from their strong-holds, and to lie in wait for ftraggling parties. Finding themfelves now a match for a people, whom opulence had betrayed to luxury, and the arts of peace to cowardice ;