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phantoms of honour and glory. I have seen men considered as vile and brittle instruments, which other men threw away, and broke to pieces without regret. I have heard a minister of state say, that he had spent so many men in a campaign !"
I will only prolong this note by a tale from Ferguson's History of Civil Society, the recollection of which was suggested by the mercantile mode of speaking attributed to statesmen by the Ex-king of Holland :
“In small rude societies, the individual finds himself attacked in every national war; and none can propose to devolve his defence on another. • The king of Spain is a great prince,' said an American Chief to the Governor of Jamaica, who was preparing a body of troops to join an enterprise against the Spaniards ; ' do you propose to make war upon so great a king with so small a force ?' Being told that the forces he saw were to be joined by troops from Europe, and that the governor could then command no more: who are these, then,' said the American, 'who forn this crowd of spectators ? Are they not your people? And why do you not all go forth to so great a war?'
He was answer
vered, that the spectators were merchants, and other inhabitants, who took no part in the service. • Would they be merchants still,' continued this statesman, if the King of Spain was to attack you here? For my part, I do not think that merchants should be permitted to live in any country ; when I go to war, I leave nobody at home but the women.' It should seem that this simple warrior considered merchants as a kind of neutral persons, who took no part in the quarrels of their country; and that he did not know how much war itself may be made a subject of
traffic; what mighty armies may be put in motion from behind the counter; how often buman blood is, without any national animosity, bought and sold for bills of exchange, and how often the prince, the nobles, and the statesmen, in many a polished nation, might, in his account, be considered as merchants."
NOTE (0)- Page 181.
“ The ancient republics were almost in perpetual war. The maxims of ancient war were much more destructive than those of modern; chiefly by the distribution of plunder in which the soldiers were indulged. The battles of antiquity, both by their duration and their resemblance of single combats, were wrought up to a degree of fury, quite unknown to later ages. Nothing could then engage the combatants to give quarter, but the hopes of profit, by making slaves of their prisoners. In civil wars,
we learn from Tacitus, the battles were the most bloody, because the prisoners were not slaves.
What a stout resistance must be made, when the vanquished expected so hard a fate! How inveterate the rage, when the maxims of war were in every respect so bloody and severe !
“ Instances are very frequent in ancient history, of cities besieged, whose inhabitants, rather than open
their gates, murdered their wires and children, and rushed themselves on a voluntary death, sweetened, perhaps, with a little prospect of revenge upon
enemy. Greeks, as well as Barbarians, have been wrought up to this degree of fury.
“ Sometimes the wars in Greece, says Plutarch, were carried on entirely by inroads and robberies and piracies. Such a method of war must be more destructive in small states, than the bloodiest battles and sieges.
“ The only cartel I remember in ancient history, is that betwixt Demetrius Poliorcetes and the Rhodians; when it was agreed, that a free citizen should be restored for 1000 dracimas, a slave bearing arms for 500.”— (Hume's Essay on the Populousness of Ancient Nations.)
NOTE (P) -- Page 183.
Summary View of Wars in England, occasioned by disputed Claims of the Crown, from Sidney's Discourses on Government.
“ But the miseries of England upon the like occasions, surpass all. William the Nornian was no sooner dead, but the nation was rent in pieces by his son Ro rt, contesting with his younger sons, William and Henry, for the crown. They being all dead, and their sons, the like happened between Stephen and Mand: Henry the Second was made king to terminate all disputes, but it proved a fruitless expedient. Such as were more scandalous, and not less dangerous, did soon arise between him and his sons; who, besides the evils brought upon the nation, vexed him to death by their rebellion. The reigns of John and Henry the Third were yet more tempestuous. Edward the Second's lewd, foolish, infamous and detestable government, ended in his deposition and death, to
which he was brought by his wife and son. Edward the Third employed his own and his subjects' valour against the French and Scots; but whilst the foundations were out of order, the nation could never receive any advantage by their victories. All was calculated for the glory and turned to the advantage of one man. He being dead, all that the English held in Scotland and in France, was lost through the baseness of his successor, with more blood than it had been gained; and the civil wars raised by his wickedness and madness, ended as those of Edward had done. The peace of Henry the Fourth's reign was interrupted by dangerous civil wars; and the victory obtained at Shrewsbury, had not perhaps secured him on the throne, if his death had not prevented new troubles. Henry the Fifth acquired such reputation by his virtue and victories, that none dared to invade the crown during his life; but immediately after his death, the storms prepared against his family broke out with the utmost violence. His son's weakness encouraged Richard, Duke of York, to set up a new title, which produced such mischiefs as hardly any people has suffered, unless upon the like occasion; for besides the slaughter of many thousands of the people, and especially of those who had been accustomed to arms, the devastation of the best parts of the kingdom, and the loss of all that our kings had inherited in France, or gained by the blood of their subjects, four score princes of the blood, as Philip de Commines calls them, died in battle, or under the hand of the hangman. Many of the most noble families were extinguished; others lost their most eminent men. Three kings, and two presumptive heirs of the crown, were murdered, and the nation brought to that shameful exigence,
to set up a young man to reign over them, who had no better cover for his sordid extraction than a Welsh pedigree, that might shew how a tailor was descended from Prince Arthur, Cadwallader, and Brutus. But the wounds of the nation were not to be healed with such a plaister. He could not rely on a title made up of such stuff, and patched with a marriage to a princess of a very questionable birth. His own meanness inclined him to hate the nobility; and thinking it to be as easy for them to take the crown from him as to give it to him, he industriously applied himself to glean up the remainders of the house of York, from whence a competitor might arise, and by all means to crush those who were most able to oppose him. This exceedingly weakened the nobility, who held the balance between him and the Commons, and was the first step towards the dissolution of our ancient governinent; but he was so far from settling the kingdom in peace, that such rascals as Perkin Warbeck and Simnel were able to disturb it. The reign of Henry the Eighth was turbulent and bloody; that of Mary, furious, and such as had brought us into subjection to the most powerful, proud and cruel nation at that time in the world, if God had not wonderfully protected us. Nay, Edward the Sixth and Queen Elizabeth, notwithstanding the natural excellency of their dispositions, and their knowledge of the truth in matters of religion, were forced by that which men call jealousy of state,' to foul their hands so often with illustrious blood, that if their reigns deserve to be accounted amongst the most gentle of monarchies, they were more heavy than the government of any commonwealth in time of peace; and yet their