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by generals before it was ever proclaimed by the publicists. And the same truth applies to many other changes in warfare, which have been oftener the result of a temporary military fashion, or of new ideas of military expediency, than of obedience to Grotius or Vattel. They set themselves to as futile a task as the proverbial impossibility of whitening the negro ; with this result-that the destructiveness of war, its crimes, and its cruelties, are something new even to a world that cannot lose the recollection of the sack of Magdeburg in 1631, or the devastation of the Palatinate in 1689.?
The publicists have but recognised and reflected the floating sentiments of their time, without giving us any definite principle by which to separate the permissible from the non-permissible practice in war.
We have already seen how much they are at issue on the use of poison. They are equally at issue as to the right of employing assassination; as to the extent of the legitimate use of fraud; as to the right of beginning a war without declaration; as to the limits of the invader's rights of robbery ; as to the right of the invaded to rise against his invader ; or as to whether individuals so rising are to be treated as prisoners of war or hanged as assassins. Let us consider what they have done for us with regard to the right of using savages for allies, or with regard to the rights of the conqueror over the town he has taken by assault.
The right to use barbarian troops on the Christian baltle-field is unanimously denied by all the modern text-writers. Lord Chatham's indignation against England's employment of them against her revolted colonies in America availed as little. Towards the end of the Crimean war Russia prepared to arm some savage races within her empire, and brought Circassians into Hungary in 1848.3 France employed African Turcos both against Austria in 1859 and against Prussia in 1870 ; and it is within the recollection of the youngest what came of the employment by Turkey of Bashi-Bazouks. Are they likely not to be used in future because Bluntschli, Heffter, or Wheaton prohibits them?
To take a town by assault is the worst danger a soldier can have to face. The theory therefore had a show of reason, that without the reward of unlimited licence he could never be brought to the breach. Tilly is reported to have replied, when he was entreated by some of his officers to check the rapine and bloodshed that has
1 Bluntschli's Moderne Völkerrech?, art. 573.
? For the character of modern war see the account of the Franco-German war in the Quarterly Review for April 1871.
• Halleck, ii. 22.
immortalised the sack of Magdeburg in 1631 : “Three hours' plundering is the shortest rule of war. The soldier must have something for his toil and trouble.”! It is on such occasions, therefore, that war shows itself in its true character, and that M. Girardin's remark, “La guerre c'est l'assassinat, la guerre c'est le vol," reads like a revelation. The scene never varies from age to age; and the storming of Badajoz and San Sebastian by the English forces in the Peninsular War, or of Constantine in Algiers by the French in 1837, teaches us what we may expect to see in Europe when next a town is taken by assault, as Strasburg might have been in 1870. “No age, no nation,” says Sir W. Napier, “ever sent forth braver troops to battle than those who stormed Badajoz.” (April 1812.) Yet for two days and nights there reigned in its streets, says the same writer, “shame. less rapacity, brutal intemperance, savage lust, cruelty, and murder."9 And what says he of San Sebastian not a year and a half later? A thunderstorm that broke out "seemed to be a signal from hell for the perpetration of villany which would have shamed the most ferocious barbarians of antiquity." • The direst, the most revolting cruelty was added to the catalogue of crime ; one atrocity
staggers the mind by its enormous, incredible, indescribable barbarity.” 3 If officers lost their lives in trying to prevent such deeds—whose very atrocity, as some one has said, preserves them from our full execration, because it makes it inpossible to describe them-is it likely that the gallant soldiers who crowned their bravery with such devilry would have been one whit restrained by the consideration that in refusing quarter, or in murdering, torturing, or mutilating non-combatants, they were acting contrary to the rules of modern warfare ?
If, then, we temper theory with practice, and desert our books for the facts of the battle-field (so far as they are ever told in full), we may perhaps lay down the following as the most important laws of modern warfare :
1. You may not use explosive bullets ; but you may use conicalshaped ones, which inflict far more mutilation than round ones, and even explosive bullets, if they do not fall below a certain magnitude.
2. You may not poison your enemy, because you thus take from him the chance of self-defence; but you may blow him up with a
| Vehse's Austria, i. 369. Yet, as usual on such occasions, the excesses were committed in the teeth of Tilly's efforts to oppose them.
“Imperavit Tillius a devictorum cædibus et corporum castimonia abstinerent, quod imperium a quibusdam furentibus male servatum annales aliqui fuere conquesti. —Adlzreiter's Annales Boica Gentis, Part iii. 1. 16, c. 38. ? Battles in the Peninsular War, 181, 182,
• Ibid. 396.
fougasse or dynamite, from which he is equally incapable of defending himself.
3. You may not poison your enemy's drinking-water ; but you may infect it with dead bodies or otherwise, because that is only equivalent to turning the stream.
4. You may not kill helpless old men, women, or children with the sword or bayonet; but as much as you please with your Congreve rockets, howitzers, or mortars.
5. You may not make war on the peaceable occupants of a country; but you may burn their houses if they resist your claims to rob them of their uttermost farthing.
6. You may not refuse quarter to an enemy; but you may if he be not equipped in a particular outfit.
7. You may not kill your prisoners of war; but you may order your soldiers not to take any.
8. You may not ask a ransom for your prisoners; but you may more than cover their cost in the lump sum you exact for the expenses of the war.
9. You may not purposely destroy churches, hospitals, museums, or libraries; but "military exigencies” will cover your doing so, as they will almost anything else you choose to do in breach of any other restrictions on your conduct.
Such are some of the practical absurdities into which the reasonings of Grotius and his followers have led us. The real dreamers, it appears, have been, not those who, like Henri IV., Sully, St. Pierre, or Kant, have dreamed of a world without wars, but those who have dreamed of wars waged without lawlessness, passion, or crime. On them be thrown back the taunts of utopianism which they have showered so long on the only view of the matter which is really logical and consistent. On them, at least, rests the shadow, and must rest the reproach, of an egregious failure, unless recent wars are of no account and teach no lesson. And if their failure be real and signal, what remains for those who wish for better things, and for some check on deeds that threaten our civilisation, but to turn their backs on the instructors they once trusted ; to light their fires rather than to load their shelves with Grotius, Vattel,and the rest; and to throw in their lot for the future with the opinion, hitherto despised, though it was Kant's, and the endeavour hitherto discredited, though it was Henry the Great's, Sully's, and Elizabeth'sthe opinion, that is, that it were easier to abolish war than to humanize it, and that only in the growth of habits of international confidence lies any possible hope of its ultimate extinction ?
J. A. FARRER,
THE PROBLEMS OF DISTRIBUTION
AND THEIR SOLUTION.
Part I. ERSONS whose acquaintance with the methods of biological
study cannot be regarded as either extensive or profound, may nevertheless regard themselves as perfectly capable of detailing exactly and succinctly the four chief points involved in the consideration of any living being. The history of an animal or plant, however superficially that history may be viewed, presents a series of problems which it is the business of the biologist to solve. These problems resolve themselves sooner or later into four questions, the replies to which, if given in full detail, supply us with a perfect knowledge of the present and past life of the organism and its race. Query the first, concerning the living being-animal or plant, monad or manresolves itself into the inquiry, "what is it?” To this question the science of morphology, or that of structure, affords a reply. The external form and the internal anatomy of the organism are investigated under this primary question of the biologist. The animal mechanism and the nature and relations of plant-tissues and organs fall naturally within the scope of this question and its reply. But the organism possesses its vital activities as well as its structural details. In the essence of its nature, it presents for our study those actions through which it maintains its own individual existence, and that of its race or species likewise. A second question thus becomes imperative, and inquires, "how does it live?” To this query it is the province of physiology, as the science of functions, to reply. Summarising the life of any organism, three terms may be found to denote the sum total of its vital activity. It firstly nourishes itself, and thus engages in the exercise of the function of nutrition. It thuswise provides for the maintenance of its individual frame. But as the death of individuals thins out the ranks of the species, the exercise of a second function, that of reproduction, provides for the continuance of the race in time. Then, lastly, the animal or plant, whatever its sphere or place in the organic series, or in the world at large, exhibits certain relations to its surroundings. Deprived of the means for exhibiting this relationship, the living being becomes practically as the dead things around it. It is the power of relating itself to its environments which gives to the living body its chief