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each. The first standing army in modern times was established by Charles VII. of France, on a very imperfect plan. He began with a body of cavalry termed companies of ordonnance. And as for infantry, he, anno 1448, appointed each parish to furnish an archer: these were termed franc-archers, because they were exempted from all taxes. This little army was intended for restoring peace and order at home, not for disturbing neighbouring ftates. The King had been forc'd into many perilous wars, fome of them for reftraining the turbulent spirit of his vaffals, and most of them for defending his crown against an ambitious adversary, Henry V. of England. As thefe wars were carried on in the feudal mode, the foldiers, who had no pay, could not be restrained from plundering; and inveterate practice rendered them equally licentious in peace and in war. Charles, to leave no pretext for free quarters, laid upon his fubjects a finall tax, no more than fufficient for regular pay to his little army
* This was the firft tax impofed in France without confent of the three eftates: and, however unconftitutional,
First attempts are commonly crude and defective. one by one in different villages, and never collected but in time of action, could not eafily be brought under regular discipline: in the field, they display'd nothing but vicious habits, a fpirit of laziness, of diforder, and of pilfering. Neither in peace were they of any ufe: their character of foldier made them defpife agriculture, without being qualified for war in the army they were no better than peafants: at the plough, no better than idle foldiers. But in the hands of a monarch, a standing army is an inftrument of power, too valuable ever to be abandoned: if one fove
The franc-archers, difperfed
conftitutional, it occafioned not the flightest murmur, because its visible good tendency reconciled all the world to it. Charles, befide, was a favourite of his people; and juftly, as he fhewed by every act his affection for them. Had our firft Charles been fuch a favourite, who knows whether the taxes he impofed without confent of parliament, would have mnet with any oppofition? Such taxes would have become cuftomary, as in France; and a limited monarchy would, as in France, have become abfolute. Governments, like men, are liable to many revolutions: we remain, it is true, a free people; but for that bleffing we are perhaps more indebted to fortune, than to patriotic vigilance.
reign entertain fuch an army, others in felf-defence muft follow. Standing armies are now established in every European ftate, and are brought to a competent degree of perfection.
This new inftrument of government, has produced a furprising change in manners. We now rely on a standing army, for defence as well as offence: none but those who are trained to war, ever think of handling arms, or even of defending themselves against an enemy: our people have become altogether effeminate, terrified at the very fight of a hoftile weapon. It is true, they are not the lefs qualified for the arts of peace; and if manufacturers be protected from being obliged to serve in the army, I discover not any incompatibility between a standing army and the higheft induftry. Hufbandmen at the fame time make the beft foldiers: a military fpirit in the lower claffes arifes from bodily ftrength, and from affection to their natal foil. Both are eminent in the hufbandman: conftant exercife in the open air renders him hardy and robust; and fondness for the place where he finds comfort and plenty, attaches him to his
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country in general *. facturer, on the contrary, is attached to no country but where he finds the best bread; and a fedentary life, enervating his body, renders him pufillanimous. For these reasons, among many, agriculture ought to be honoured and cherished above all other arts. It is not only a fine preparation
* Numquam credo potuiffe dubitari, aptiorem armis rufticam plebem, quæ fub divo et in labore nutritur; folis patiens; umbræ negligens; balnearum nefcia; deliciarum ignara; fimplicis animi; parvo contenta; duratis ad omnem laborum tolerantiam membris: cui geftare ferrum, foffam ducere, onus ferre, confuetudo de rure eft. Nec inficiandum eft, poft urbem conditam, Romanos ex civitate profectos femper ad bellum: fed tunc nullis voluptatibus, nullis deliciis frangebantur. Sudorem curfu et campeftri exercitio collectum nando juven tus abluebat in Tybere. Idem bellator, idem agricola, genera tantum mutabat armorum. Vegetius, De re militari, l. 1. cap. 3.- [In English thus: "I "believe it was never doubted, that the country"labourers were, of all others, the beft foldiers. "Inured to the open air, and habitual toil, fub
jected to the extremes of heat and cold, ignorant "of the ufe of the bath, or any of the luxuries of "life, contented with bare neceffaries, there was "no feverity in any change they could make: their limbs, accustomed to the ufe of the fpade and plough, and habituated to burden, were capable
preparation for war, by breeding men who love their country, and whom labour and fobriety qualify for being foldiers; but is alfo the best foundation for commerce, by furnishing both food and materials to the industrious.
But feveral objections occur against a standing army, that call aloud for a better model than has hitherto been established, at least in Britain. The fubject is interefting, and I hope for attention from every man who loves his country. During the vigour of the feudal fyftem which made every land-proprietor a foldier, every inch of ground was tenaciously disputed with an invader: and while a fovereign retained any part of his dominions, he never loft hopes of recovering the whole. At prefent, we rely entirely on a standing
"of the utmost extremity of toil. Indeed, in the "earlieft ages of the commonwealth, while the city "was in her infancy, the citizens marched out from "the town to the field: but at that time they were
not enfeebled by pleasures, nor by luxury: The "military youth, returning from their exercife and "martial sports, plunged into the Tyber to wash "off the fweat and duft of the field. The warrior "and the hufbandman were the fame, they chan"ged only the nature of their arms."]