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know that they are poor and naked, and poor and naked without a crime.
But it is not necessary to make any conceffions, The opponents of this charity must allow it to be good, and will not easily prove it not to be the best. That charity is best, of which the consequences are most extensive: the relief of enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraternal affection; to foften the acrimony of adverse nations, and dispose them to peace and amity : in the mean time, it alleviates captivity, and takes away something from the miseries of war. The rage of war, however mitigated, will always fill the world with calamity and horror: let it not then be unnecessarily extended; let animosity and hostility cease together; and no man be longer deemed an enemy, than while his sword is drawn against us.
The effects of these contributions may, perhaps, reach still further. Truth is best supported by virtue: we may hope from those who feel or who see our charity, that they shall no longer detest as heresy that religion, which makes its professors the followers of Him, who has commanded us to “ do good to them so that hate us.”
D Y those who have compared the military genius
D of the English with that of the French nation, it is remarked, that the French officers will always lead, if the foldiers will follow; and that the English foldiers will always follow, if their officers will lead.
In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness; and, in this comparison, our officers seem to lose what our foldiers gain. I know not any reason for supposing that the English officers are less willing than the French to lead ; but it is, I think, universally allowed, that the English foldiers are more willing to follow. Our nation may boast, beyond any other people in the world, of a kind of epidemick bravery, diffused equally through all its ranks. We can shew a peasantry of heroes, and fill our armies with clowns, whose courage may vie with that of their general. "
There may be some pleasure in tracing the causes of this plebeian magnanimity. The qualities which commonly make an army formidable, are long habits of regularity, great exactness of discipline, and great
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confidence in the commander. Regularity may, in time, produce a kind of mechanical obedience to signals and commands, like that which the perverse Cartesians impute to animals; discipline may impress such an awe upon the mind, that any danger shall be less dreaded than the danger of punishment; and confidence in the wisdom or fortune of the general, may induce the soldiers to follow him blindly to the most dangerous enterprize.
What may be done by discipline and regularity, may be seen in the troops of the Ruhan empress and Prusan monarch. We find that they may be broken without confufion, and repulsed without flight.
But the English troops have none of these requi. sites in any eminent degree. Regularity is by no means part of their character: they are rarely exercised, and therefore Thew very little dexterity in their evolutions as bodies of men, or in the manual use of their weapons as individuals; they neither are thought by others, nor by themselves, more active or exact than their enemies, and therefore derive none of their courage from such imaginary superiority.
The manner in which they are dispersed in quarters over the country during times of peace, naturally produces laxity of discipline; they are very little in sight of their officers; and, when they are not engaged in the flight duty of the guard, arę suffered to live every man his own way.
The equality of English privileges, the impartiality of our laws, the freedom of our tenures, and the prosperity of our tradę, dispose us very little to
reverence of superiors. It is not to any great esteem of the officers that the English foldier is indebted for his spirit in the hour of battle; for perhaps it does not often happen that he thinks much better of his leader than of himself. The French count, who has lately published the Art of War, remarks how much soldiers are animated, when they see all their dangers shared by those who were born to be their masters, and whom they consider as beings of a different rank. The Englisman despises such motives of courage: he was born without a master; and looks not on any man, however dignified by lace or titles, as deriving from nature any claims to his respect, or inheriting any qualities superior to his own.
There are some, perhaps, who would imagine that every Englishman fights better than the subjects of absolute governments, because he has more to defend. But what has the Englih more than the French foldier? Property they are both commonly without. Liberty is, to the lowest rank of every nation, little more than the choice of working or starving; and this choice is, I suppose, equally allowed in every country. The English soldier seldom has his head very full of the constitution; nor has there been, for more than a century, any war that put the property or liberty of a single Englishman in danger.
Whence then is the courage of the English vulgar? It proceeds, in my opinion, from that diffolution of dependance which obliges every man to regard his own character. While every man is fed by his own hands, he has no need of any servile arts; he may always have wages for his labour; and is no less necessary to his employer, than his employer is
to him. While he looks for no protection from others, he is naturally rouled to be his own protector ; and having nothing to abate his esteem of himself, he consequently aspires to the esteem of others. Thus every man that crouds our streets is a man of honour, disdainful of obligation, impatient of reproach, and desirous of extending his reputation among those of his own rank; and as courage is in most frequent use, the fame of courage is most eagerly pursued. From this neglect of subordination I do not deny that some inconveniencies may from time to time proceed : the power of the law does not always sufficiently supply the want of reverence, or maintain the proper distinction between different ranks: but good and evil will grow up in this world together; and they who complain, in peace, of the infolence of the populace, must remember, that their infolence in peace is bravery in war.