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edges that it is often necessary to assert the honour of a nation for the sake of its interest. and
courage of a people are supported by flattering their pride. Concessions which betray too much of fear or weaknefs, though they relate to points of mere ceremony, invite demands and attacks of more serious importance. Our rule allows all this ; and only directs that, when points of honour become subjects of contention between fovereigns, or are likely to be made the occasions of war, they be estimated with a reference to utility, and not by them. selves. “ The dignity of his crown, the honour of his fag, the glory of his arms,” in the mouth of a prince are stately and imposing terms; but the ideas they inspire are infatiable. It may be always glorious to conquer, whatever be the justice of the war, or the price of the victory. The dignity of a sovereign may not permit him to recede from claims of homage and respect, at whatever expense of national peace and happiness they are to be maintained, however unjuft they may have been in their original, or in their continuance however useless to the poffeffor, or mortifying and vexatious to other states. The pursuit of honour, when set loose from the admonitions of
prų. dence, becomes in kings a wild and romantic passion : eager to engage, and gathering fury in its progrefs, it is checked by no difficulties, repelled by no dargers; it forgets or despises those considerations of safety, ease, wealth, and plenty, which in the eye of true public wisdom, compose the objects to which the renown of arms, the fame of victory, are only inftrumental and subordinate. The pursuit of interest, on the other hand, is a fober principle ; computes costs and consequences; is cautious of entering into war ; stops in time: when regulated by those universal maxims of relative justice, which belong to the affairs of communities as well as of private persons, it is the right principle for nations to proceed by; even when it trespasses upon these regulations, it is much less dangerous, because much more temperate, than the other.
II. The conduct of war.-If the cause and end of war be justifiable, all tlie means that appear necessary to the end are justifiable also. This is the principle which detends those extremities to which the violence of war usually proceeds : for since war is a contest by force between parties who acknowledge no common superior, and since it includes not in its idea the supposition of any convention which should place limits to the operations of force, it has naturally no boundary but that in which force terminates, the destruction of the life against which the force is directed. Let it be observed, however, that the license of war authorizes no acts of hoftility but what are necesfary or conducive to the end and object of the war. Gratuitous barbarities borrow no excuse from this plea : of which kind is every cruelty and every insult that serves only to esasperate the sufferings, or to incense the hatred of an enemy, without weakening his strength, or in any manner tending to procure his submission ; such as the slaughter of captives, the subjecting of them to indignities or torture, the violation of women, the profanation of temples, the demolition of public buildings, libraries, statues, and in general the destruction or defacing of works that conduce nothing to annoyance or defence. These enormities are prohibited not only by the practice of civilized nations, but by the law of nature itself; as having no proper tendency to accelerate the termination, or accomplish the object of the war ; and as containing that which in peace and war is equally unjuftifiable--ultimate and gratuitous mischief.
There are other restrictions imposed upon the conduct of war, not by the law of nature primarily, but by the laws of war, first, and by the law of nature as seconding and ratifying the laws of war. The laws of war are part of the law of nations; and founded, as to their authority, upon the same principle with the rest of that code, namely, upon the fact.of their being established, no matter when or by whom; upon the expectation of their being mutually observed, in confequence of that establishment; and upon the
general utility which results from such observance. The binding force of these rules is the greater, because the regard that is paid to them must be univerfal or none.
The breach of the rule can only be punished by the subversion of the rule itself : on which account, the whole mischief that ensues from the loss of those falutary restrictions which such rules prescribe, is justly chargeable upon the first aggressor To this consideration may be referred the duty of refraining in war from poison and from assassination.
If the law of nature simply be consulted, it may be difficult to distinguish between these and other methods of destruction, which are practised without scru. ple by nations at war.
If it be lawful to kill an enemy at all, it seems lawful to do so by one mode of death as well as by another ; by a dose of poison, as by the point of a sword; by the hand of an allaslin, as by the attack of an army: for if it be said that one species of assault leaves to an enemy the power of defending himself against it, and that the other does not; it may be answered, that we possess at least the same right to cut off an enemy's defence, that we have to seek his destruction. In this manner might the question be debated, if there existed no rule or law of war upon the subject. But when we observe that such practices are at present excluded by the usage and opinions of civilized nations; that the first recourse to them would be followed by instant retal. liation; that the mutual license which such attempts must introduce, would fill both sides with the misery of continual dread and fufpicion, without adding to the strength or success of either; that when the exa ample came to be more generally imitated, which it foon would be, after the sentiment that condemns it had been once broken in upon, it would greatly aggravate the horrors and calamities of war, yet procure no superiority to any of the nations engaged in it : when we view thefe effects, we join in the public reprobation of such fatal expedients, as of the admif. fion amongst mankind of new and enormous evils without necessity or advantage. The law of nature,
we see at length, forbids these innovations, as so many transgressions of a beneficial general rule actually sublifting
The license of war then acknowledges two limitations : it authorizes no hoftilities which have not an apparent tendency to effectuate the object of the war; it respects those positive laws which the custom of nations hath fanctified, and which, whilst they are mutually conformed to, mitigate the calamities of war, without weakening its operations, or diminishing the power or safety of belligerent states.
Long and various experience seems to have convinced the nations of Europe, that nothing but a standing army can oppose a standing army, where the numbers on each side bear any moderate proportion to one another. The first standing army that appeared in Europe after the fall of the Roman legion, was that which was erected in France by Charles VII. about the middle of the fifteenth century: and that the institution hath since become general, can only be attributed to the superiority and success which are every where observed to attend it. The truth is, the closeness, regularity, and quickness of their movements; the unreferved, instantaneous, and almost mechanical obedience to orders ; the fenfe of personal honour, and the familiarity with danger, which belong to a disciplined, veteran, and embodied foldiery, give such firmness and intrepidity to their approach, such weight and execution to their attack, as are not to be withstood by loose ranks of occafional and newly-levied troops, who are liable by their inexperience to disorder and confusion, and in whom fear is constantly augmented by novelty and surprise. It is possible that a militia, with a great excess of numbers, and a ready supply of recruits, may sustain a defensive or a flying war against regular troops ; it is also true that any service, which keeps soldiers for a while together, and inures them by little and little to the habits of war and the dangers of action, transforms them in effect into a standing ar
my. But upon this plan it may be necessary for al. most a whole nation to go out to war to repel an invader ; beside that, a people so unprepared must al. ways have the seat, and with it the miseries of war, at home, being utterly incapable of carrying their operations into a foreign country.
From the acknowledged superiority of standing armies, it follows, not only that it is unsafe for a nam tion to disband its regular troops, whilst neighbouring kingdoms retain
theirs ; but also that regular troops provide for the public service at the least possible expense. I suppose a certain quantity of military strength to be necessary, and I say that a standing army costs the community less than any other establishment which presents to an enemy the same force. The constant drudgery of low employments is not only incompatible with any great degree of perfection or expertness in the profession of a soldier, but the profession of a soldier almost always unfits men for the business of regular occupations. Of three inhabitants of a village, it is better that one fhould 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 hulbandmen ; from the latter it receives three raw militia-men, who are at the fame time three idle and profligate peasants. It should be considered, alfo, that the emergencies of war wait not for seasons. Where there is no stand. ing army ready for immediate service, it may be necessary to call the reaper from the fields in harvest, or the ploughman in feed-time ; and the provision of a whole year may perish by the interruption of one month's labour. A standing army, therefore, is not only a more effectual, 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.