Imatges de pàgina
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a village, it is better that one should addict himself entirely to arms, and the other two stay constantly at home to cultivate the ground, than that all the three should mix the avocations of a camp with the business of husbandry. By the former arrangement the country gains one complete soldier, and two industrious husbandmen; from the latter it receives three raw militia-men, who are at the same time three idle and profligate peasants. It should be considered, also, that the emergencies of war wait not for seasons. Where there is no standing army ready for immediate service, it may be necessary to call the reaper from the fields in harvest, or the ploughman in seed-time; and the provision of a whole year may perish by the interruption of one month's labour. Aftanding army, therefore, is not only a more effettual, but a cheaper method of providing for the public safety, than any other, because it adds more than any other to the common strength, and takes less from that which composes the wealth of a nation, its stock of productive industry.

There is yet another distinction between standing armies and militias, which deserves a more attentive consideration than any that has been mentioned. When the state relies for its

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tic by training up its subjects to the knowledge and exercise of arms, but that it would ere long be forced to give way to despotism in some other shape ; and that the country would be liable to what is even worse than a settled and constitutional despotism—to perpetual rebellions, and to perpetual revolutions ; to short and violent usurpations; to the successive

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governors, rendered cruel and jealous by the danger and instability of their situation.

The same purposes of strength and efficacy which make a fanding army necessary at all, make it necessary, in mixed governments, that this army be submitted to the management and direction of the prince: for however well a popular council

may be qualified for the offices of legislation, it is altogether unfit for the conduct of war; in which, success usually depends upon vigour and enterprize ; upon fecrecy, dispatch, and unanimity: upon a quick perception of opportunities, and the power of seizing every opportunity immediately. It is likewise necefsary that the obedience of an army be as prompt and active as possible ; for which reason it ought to be made an obedience of will and emulation, Upon this consideration is founded the expediency of leaving to the prince not only the

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government and destination of the army, but the appointment and promotion of its officers : because a design is then alone likely to be executed with zeal and fidelity, when the person who issues the order, chooses the instruments, and rewards the service. To which we may fubjoin, that, in governments like ours, if the direction and officering of the army were placed in the hands of the democratic part of the conftitution, this power, added to what they already poffefs, would so overbalance all that would be left of regal prerogative, that little would remain of monarchy in the constitution but the name and expence; nor would these probably remain long.

Whilt we describe, however, the advantages of standing armies, we must not conceal the danger. These properties of their constitutionthe foldiery being feparated in a great degree from the rest of the community, their being closely linked amongst themselves by habits of fociety and subordination, and the dependency of the whole chain upon the will and favour of the prince-however effential they may be to the purposes for which armies are kept up, give them an aspect in no wise favourable to public. liberty. The danger however is diminished by

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maintaining, upon all occasions, as much alliance of interest, and as much intercourse of sentiment, between the military part of the nation and the other orders of the people, as are consistent with the union and discipline of an army. For which purpose officers of the army, upon whose disposition towards the commonwealth a great deal may depend, should be taken from the principal families of the country, and at the same time also be encouraged to establish in it families of their own, as well as be admitted to seats in the senate, to hereditary diltinctions, and to all the civil honours and privileges that are compatible with their profession: which circumstances of connection and fituation will give them such a share in the general rights of the people, and so engage their inclinations on the side of public liberty, as to afford a reafonable security that they cannot be brought, by any promises of personal aggrandizement, to affift in the execution of measures which might enslave their pofterity, their kindred, and their country.

F INI S.
DEC 2 6 1917

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